Pap: I know when we play Red Sox


Pap: I know when we play Red Sox

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- For Jonathan Papelbon, Boston is gone but not forgotten.

The new closer for the Philadelphia Phillies recalled his seven seasons in Boston fondly Saturday, meeting the media at the Phils' spring training complex.

But he also has to begin a new chapter in his career and won't allow himself to think about the possibility of facing his former team in the World Series this October.

"If I can go one day at a time I know it sounds clich but thats what I have to do to do my job -- and be able to go out and do my job,'' said Papelbon.

But Papelbon quickly admitted with a smile: "I do know when we play the Red Sox (in interleague play May).''

Meanwhile, from afar, some 140 miles up Florida's Gulf Coast, Papelbon continues to monitor some old friends.

"I stay in contact with a few of them,'' said Papelbon. "I wish them all the best of luck. I have a lot of lifelong friends there. Even (Friday night, with Tim) Wakefield (retiring), that hit home for me.

'Wakefield and (Jason Varitek), these are the guys that I (met when I) came into the clubhouse as a rookie and learned the game of baseball, learned to respect the game of baseball. Those guys will always hold a special place in my heart and I'll always be friends with them, on and off the field -- except when we play them those three games in inter-league.''

Sale hurls five shutout innings, Sandoval has two hits as Sox romp, 7-2

Sale hurls five shutout innings, Sandoval has two hits as Sox romp, 7-2

Chris Sale threw five shutout innings and Pablo Sandoval continued his torrid spring with two more hits as the Red Sox routed the Twins, 7-2, Sunday at the Twins' Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.

Red Sox-Twins box score

Sale allowed six hits, with one walk and six strikeouts, in his 91-pitch outing. Manager John Farrell had told reporters before the game that Sale was scheduled to throw between 95 and 100 pitches. He has 26 strikeouts and 2 walks in 21 spring-training innings.

Sandoval lifted his exhibition average to .370 with a 2-for-3 performance, which included a double.

The Red Sox also got home runs from Christian Vazquez, Andrew Benintendi and Steve Selsky as they rallied from a 1-0 deficit with three runs in the seventh inning and four in the eighth.

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla. 

Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.

He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.

Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.