FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox officials have been raving about how well Drake Britton had been throwing the ball in his bullpen sessions and in live batting practice.
On Saturday, he took the same electric stuff into a game.
"That's what I was trying to do,'' said Britton. "I've been working really hard on my sides and live BP. I felt really good mechanically. All I wanted to do was not do too much - just stay right where I was at.''
Britton struck out the side in the third, then allowed a double in his second inning, sandwiched in-between two groundouts and another strikeout.
"He was crisp, he was powerful,'' said Farrell. "I think one of the more impressive things was his ability to throw some fastballs in on righthanders and he had an assortment of secondary pitches that he threw for strikes. Just a very good and cleaning two innings.'' Britton contributed out of the bullpen for the final two months last season and enjoyed success. The confidence he derived from that has carried over.
"He was great,'' said catcher A.J. Pierzynski. "Obviously, the results speak for themselves. He hung the one slider to (Eduardo) Escobar for the double, but other than that, he struck out the side in the first. He threw the ball great -- inside, outside. He threw sliders, threw some changeups. He pretty much had it all going. That was an impressive showing.''
· Shunsuke Watanabe, who pitches with a submarine-style delivery, worked an effective eighth inning, retiring the Twins in order despite barely touching 80 mph on radar guns.
"You talk about a contrast of styles -- I don't know if you can find any more than that,'' Farrell said. "From the angle to the velocity, it's unique. Hitters are trying to get their timing down on fastballs (early in spring), guys that can take the sting out of a bat, there's going to be some effectiveness there.''