Notes: Red Sox sweep split-squad doubleheader

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Notes: Red Sox sweep split-squad doubleheader

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. The Red Sox swept their split-squad doubleheader Tuesday, beating the Astros, 3-2, at City of Palms Park, and defeating the Cardinals in Jupiter, 8-7.

At home, Josh Beckett went 3 23 innings, giving up one run on three hits with one walk with four strikeouts. Dennys Reyes earned the win pitching a scoreless eighth inning with a walk and a strikeout. Matt Fox got the save with three swinging strikeouts in the ninth. Nate Spears single in the eighth scored Paul Hoover with the winning run. Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard each pitched one scoreless inning.

In Jupiter, Stolmy Pimentel started and went 1 23 innings, giving up two runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Clevelan Santeliz got the win, throwing two scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Kyle Fernandes earned the save. The Red Sox scored four runs in the eighth for the win. Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.

Outfielder Mike Cameron, who hasnt played since Thursday, said his left knee has been bothering him, but expects to serve as the designated hitter Wednesday night against the Orioles.

His left knee is a little sore, said manager Terry Francona. He has a little tendinitis. He could have played today. We just didnt think it made sense to play him today and then maybe limp for the next week. Were not in a pennant race right now so we want him to feel good.

Roger Clemens was in attendance at City of Palms Park to watch his son Koby start at first base, batting sixth, for the Astros. The father watched from a suite as his son went 0-for-4.

Asked how it felt facing the younger Clemens, Beckett replied:

"Pretty old. I've played against both of them. I don't know, I think some more of that stuff is going to happen. Cameron and them always tease me. Cameron actually came up to me today and said something about it. He said, 'Man, you're getting old, man, facing sons of guys that you've faced . . . ' "

Chris Johnson, the son of Sox first base coach Ron Johnson, started at third base for the Astros. The pair exchanged lineup cards at home plate before the game. Astros manager and former Sox bench coach Brad Mills, whose son Beau was the No. 1 pick of the Indians in 2007, enjoyed watching the family ties this afternoon.

Its fun for me, but its great for these kids, Mills said. These guys want to be able to play in front of their dads and so forth. And I think its great. Its something that I miss every now and then. I dont get to see my son much. But I think its good. Thats pretty cool.

The Red Sox 109-game spring training sellout streak, going back to March 16, 2003, ended with this game.

Due to an unfortunate scheduling conflict, todays game was a late add-on to our spring training schedule, said Katie Haas, Red Sox director of Florida operations, in a statement. We werent able to include it in the normal sales process, including season ticket renewals, and this created extra ticket inventory for this particular game. Last week we announced that some of that inventory would be used in a special promotion to show our appreciation to Lee County by providing discounted tickets to residents and fans visiting Southwest Florida.

We are glad a number of people were able to be a part of the promotion, and they came out to enjoy a game and join us in recognizing a number of Lee County nonprofits and community groups who serve those in need in the area. The Red Sox organization is extremely fortunate to have the most passionate and dedicated fans in all of sports, and we want to thank them for their incredible, sustained commitment to this team. We look forward to starting a new streak with Red Sox Nation and carrying it with us to our new spring training home in 2012.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

As expected, Red Sox send Swihart to Pawtucket

As expected, Red Sox send Swihart to Pawtucket

Blake Swihart wasn't going to win a job. Monday merely made that official.

Swihart was optioned out as the Red Sox made further cuts, sending a player who could still be the Red Sox catcher of the future -- well, one of them anyway -- to Triple-A Pawtucket, where he's expected to work on his receiving.

Swihart hit .325 in 40 Grapefruit League at-bats.

"Had a very strong camp and showed improvements defensively. Swung the bat very well," manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida.  "For the player that he is and the person that he is, you love him as a person. He's a hell of a talented player.

"He made some subtle adjustments with his setup [defensively]. That gave him a different look to pitchers on the mound. Pitchers talked positively about the look that they got from him behind the plate. I think it softened his hands somewhat to receive the ball better. And there were a number of occasions where he was able to get a pitchers' pitch called for a strike, so the presentation of the umpire was a little bit more subtle and consistent then maybe years' past."

Sandy Leon's hot hitting in 2016 earned him an automatic crack at the lead catching spot for this year. Combined with the fact that Christian Vazquez looks great defensively, went deep on Sunday and is out of options, Swihart was the obvious odd man out.

He had options, the others didn't.

Deven Marrero was also optioned to Pawtucket. Sam Travis -- who, like Swihart, could break camp with the 2018 team -- was reassigned to minor-league camp, as was catcher Dan Butler.

The Sox have 38 players left in camp, 32 from the 40-man roster.

Red Sox reliever Tyler Thornburg likely headed to disabled list

Red Sox reliever Tyler Thornburg likely headed to disabled list

Righty Tyler Thornburg seems a guarantee to join David Price on the disabled list to start the season.

Thornburg, the biggest acquisition Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski made for the bullpen this winter, was scratched Monday because of a spasm in his upper right trapezius — not a great sign for a pitcher who already had throwing shoulder issues this spring.

Sox manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida the spasm was “not shoulder related.”  But the trap, a large muscle along the neck and back, does extend to the shoulder blade.

Dombrowski told reporters it is most likely that Thornburg starts the year on the disabled list. More is expected to be known Tuesday, possibly after an MRI.

Robby Scott could be a replacement for Thornburg. If so, the Sox would likely have three lefties in the bullpen, along with Fernando Abad and Robbie Ross Jr.

"Possibly. Possibly," Dombrowski said of Scott. “We still have to make those decisions. But possibly.”

Dombrowski didn’t indicate a desire to go outside the organization for now.

Thornburg had barely enough time to get ready for Opening Day prior to Monday’s setback. If he indeed starts the season on the DL, Joe Kelly would be the eighth-inning reliever for the Sox — a role Kelly was headed for anyway given Thornburg’s shaky spring.

Thornburg, 28, had a 2.15 ERA last season for the Brewers. The Sox picked him up at the winter meetings in a deal that sent Travis Shaw and prospects to the Milwaukee Brewers.