Germano joins Sox, expects to be relief option

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Germano joins Sox, expects to be relief option

OAKLAND -- As expected, Justin Germano joined the Red Sox Wednesday, taking the roster spot of Clayton Mortensen, who was optioned to Pawtucket late Tuesday night.

Germano, like Aaron Cook earlier this season, had an opt-out clause (July 1), which helped forced the Red Sox hand.

"I think (the opt-out) helped,'' said Germano. "It definitely put a little bit of pressure on them. I just kind of wanted to see where they were at, and if they felt they had a place for me and if they didn't, (I would have had) to look elsewhere to see if there's a better opportunity for me.''

Germano started for Pawtucket and compiled a 9-4 mark with a 2.40 ERA in 17 games, all but one of them starts.

"He was the best pitcher on their staff down there,'' said Bobby Valentine, "giving six or seven innings every time he goes out. I guess I'll use him as a long man.''

"I've been extremely happy (with the way I've pitched),'' Germano said. "This game's all about being consistent and I've been able to string together 15-16 consistent starts. I've had a couple of rough ones, but I've been able to bounce back. All I really try to do is stay on that even plain.''

Germano last pitched Saturday, and is available to pitch Wednesday.

"I assume I would be a bullpen option for now,'' he said. "We'll see what happens somewhere down the road. I've gotten accustomed to (pitching in relief) the last couple of years with Cleveland, so I think it will be easy to adapt back to that.''

Boston pitchers strike out 14, but Red Sox still fall to Rays, 7-3

Boston pitchers strike out 14, but Red Sox still fall to Rays, 7-3

The appearance of Tampa Bay Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough almost got the Boston Red Sox back in their spring training exhibition game. The Sox managed to score all three of their runs against the 25-year-old in their 7-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida on Sunday.

But the Rays, who scored runs in five different innings, managed to widen their lead in the eighth inning by beating up on Sox lefty Luis Isla, a 24-year-old who spent last season with Portland and Pawtucket. In the eighth, Rays' Joe McCarthy homered and Luke Maile managed an RBI single, which cappped off the scoring in the contest. Sox starter Hector Velazquez allowed three hits and an earned run in his two innnings. The 28-year-old, who spent 2016 in the Mexican League, still managed to amass four strikeouts.

"I was a little nervous at the start, being in the United States for the first time and playing for a big league club for the first time," Velazquez told RedSox.com through an interpreter. "But once I got the first out, all the nerves went away, and I was able to bear down."

Despite allowing two homers, Boston pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.

With the exception of the Sox' inning against Yarbrough, Boston's veterans and prospects struggled mighltily against the Rays pitching staff. Chris Archer started for Tampa, and set the tone in the first two innings, where he threw two strikeouts, one walk and allowed one hit and no runs. Andrew Benintendi (0-for-3), Sam Travis (0-for-2) and Bryce Brentz (0-for-3) went hitless on the day. Travis, however, reached base on balls.

"I felt good. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish," Archer said, via the Red Sox' team website. "Just out there having fun, it was really fun to be out there in the spectrum with the umpire, the fans, the batter. It was fun."

Marco Hernandez's triple got the Sox' eighth-inning off to a strong start, and singles from Matt Dominguez, Deven Marrero, Rusney Castillo and Cole Sturgeon followed. The Sox' eighth inning scoring ended after Castillo got thrown out by left fielder McCarthy at third. Six Red Sox finished with one-hit outings, including Brock Holt and Blake Swihart.

The Sox will next host the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Myers on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET.