Doubront looks to move forward after disappointing start

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Doubront looks to move forward after disappointing start

BOSTON Felix Doubront wasted little time exhibiting that this start would be unlike his previous two.

In his last two outings, both against the Marlins, in Miami on June 13 and at Fenway Park on June 20, Doubront went a combined 13 innings, giving up a total of six runs on 12 hits and one walk with 13 strikeouts. In six innings in his last start he gave up four runs.

But against the Blue Jays Monday night, he gave up that many runs in his first inning, as the Sox lost to the Blue Jays, 9-6.

Doubront threw 27 pitches, 16 for strikes, in the first inning, allowing the first four batters to reach. He opened the game giving up a single to Brett Lawrie before Colby Rasmus 14th home run of the season, on a curveball. Jose Bautista reached on a Will Middlebrooks error, scoring on Edwin Encarnacions double. He retired Kelly Johnson on a flyout to Daniel Nava in left field before Yunel Escobars single to right, scoring Encarnacion. Rajai Davis reached on a fielders choice, erasing Escobar. With Ben Francisco batting, Davis was caught stealing to end the inning.

In all Doubront went six innings, giving up a seven runs, five earned, on 11 hits, a walk, and two home runs, with two strikeouts. In 18 career starts, it was a career high in runs allowed, and the first time he has allowed double-digit hits. The two strikeouts match a career low in a start.

Doubront threw 83 pitches, 61 strikes. His record falls to 8-4 with a 4.54 ERA.

I think he was trying to throw a lot of strikes and didnt want to waste a lot of pitches and it seems like a lot of them got hit, said manager Bobby Valentine. Not that they were all hit hard thats for sure. I'd say he gave up six or seven hits that were off the end of the bat or jammed, about four of them were hit hard. It wasnt his best outing but hell improve on that.

Despite the starkly different outcomes, Doubront said he took the same approach in this game as he has in others. The difference?

Couple of bad pitches, he said. One of those days, too.

I felt pretty good but one of those days when I felt good that nothing happened. Just let it go and move forward. Looking forward to my next start.

Doubront is at 85 13 innings pitched this season, nearly at his total of 87 23 last season, when he was limited by injuries. Valentine said he doesnt see that as a factor in Doubronts performance.

I think hes fine. I think hes still building, Valentine said.

Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

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Betts and Bradley Jr. combine for seven RBI, Red Sox roll to 9-2 win

The Boston Red Sox put up six runs in the first inning and coasted to a 9-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. led the way for the Red Sox with four and three RBI respectfully. Both outfielders had two-run home runs in the Sox’ big first inning.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright gave up one earned run in four innings, his ERA for the spring is now 0.68.

The Red Sox are back in action again on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m when Rick Porcello makes his final spring training start against the Minnesota Twins.

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Hernandez has chance at Red Sox opening day roster after Rutledge injury

Infielder Marco Hernandez may make the Red Sox roster after all.

Fellow infielder Josh Rutledge, the presumptive 25th man on the Red Sox, suffered a left hamstring strain on Tuesday against the Pirates, according to reporters in Florida, including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

If Rutledge isn’t ready for opening day, Hernandez, a left-handed hitter, may have his crack. 

The question is whether the Sox would be comfortable without a right-handed bat to complement both Pablo Sandoval and Mitch Moreland on the corners. Rutledge was going to give the Sox that right-handed look they sought. (When Hanley Ramirez's shoulder will be healthy enough to play first base is unclear, but isn't expected to be too long.)

Neither Rutledge nor Hernandez has played first base in the majors or minors.

A big-league rookie last year, Hernandez has done decently against lefties at the upper levels of the minors, hitting .328 vs. them at Triple-A Pawtucket last season in 67 at-bats. He hit .315 in 54 at-bats at Pawtucket, with a .318 average against them that season in 88 at-bats for Double-A Portland.

Rutledge is a Rule 5 draft pick who has to remain on the major league 25-man roster the whole season or the Sox risk losing him. Placement on the disabled list doesn’t affect his status unless he’s on the disabled list for a very lengthy time.

An alternative option is Steve Selsky, who has first-base experience, but he's already been optioned.