Ortiz, Red Sox prepare for interleague games

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Ortiz, Red Sox prepare for interleague games

BOSTON The Red Sox begin a three-city, eight-day road trip Wednesday with two games in Tampa Bay and three in Philadelphia, before finishing with three in Baltimore.

David Ortiz was taking grounders at first base before Tuesdays series finale with the Mariners in preparation for the games against the Phillies.

I think hes fine. I think David could play first base, said manager Bobby Valentine. And Adrian Gonzalez looks all right in the outfield, too. I think David could play first base. So does Dustin Pedroia, so does Adrian, so does David, and thats whats more important.

Ortiz played two games at first last season, June 29 in Philadelphia and July 2 in Houston. He was a combined 0-for-6 with a walk, an RBI, and no errors in 18 chances over 13 innings in those games.

This will be Valentines first time managing during Interleague as an American League manager.

Its kind of weird, he said. It used to be that interleague was all at one time. Its a little challenging, middle of a series -- boom -- you play a few games in a series and switch back. But I guess its better for some reason.

Carl Crawford will be among those on the disabled list who will stay back in Boston during the trip. Darnell McDonald, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a right oblique strain, will travel with the team.

Andrew Bailey was expected to have his right thumb -- on which he had surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament on April 4 -- examined today in Cleveland by Dr. Thomas Graham, who performed the procedure.

Red Sox can't rally against Rays after Chris Archer's start

Red Sox can't rally against Rays after Chris Archer's start

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.