MINNEAPOLIS -- It's every pitcher's worst nightmare: Hitting a batter in the head.
And Wednesday night in the sixth inning at Target Field, Justin Thomas lived it.
With runners at second and third, a pitch got away from the Red Sox lefty and appeared to hit the brim on the front of Chris Parmelee's helmet.
Parmelee went sprawing in the dirt and lay motionless for a while. After a few minutes, attended by the Minnesota training staff, he sat up and walked off the field under his own power, replaced at first by a pinch-runner.
"It was tough,'' said Thomas after the Red Sox' 7-6 win. "It was obviously not my intention. I was throwing a fastball in, busting him in, and it ran off and up on him.
"It was scary. I was just glad to see at the end of the game, that he was back in the dugout. We were watching in here, he seemed to be doing all right. I sent a message over that I hoped he was doing all right.''
Thomas said when the pitch struck Parmelee, it "just sounded loud. I know it got him flush in the helmet, which is probably better, so it made a loud sound. I hope he's doing all right, and he'll be all right and won't miss any time.''
Manager Bobby Valentine said Thomas was understandbly unnerved by the beaning.
"He was a little shaken,'' said Valentine. "We told him that it looked like Parmelee was okay and that we were going to call over and make sure after the game."
Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis hit three-run homers and left-hander Brian Johnson started and pitched two scoreless innings to help the Red Sox win their spring training opener, 9-6, over Northeastern University on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.
Johnson, who made one spot start in his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2015 but then was derailed by injuries and anxiety issues last season, struck out three and walked one Thursday. He's expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts in 2016.
Moreland, the left-handed hitting first baseman signed to a one-year deal after spending his first seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, and Travis, a right-handed hitting first base prospect coming back from knee surgery last season, each hit three-run homers in a six-run third inning.
Pablo Sandoval, attempting to reclaim the third-base job after missing nearly all of last season after surgery on his left shoulder, went 1-for-2 with a double.
The Red Sox open Grapefruit League play Friday afternoon when they host the New York Mets at JetBlue Park.
CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni sits down with Pedro Martinez and Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis to discuss one of Pedro's greatest games.
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On September 10, 1999 at the height of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, Pedro Martinez struck out 17 Yankees in a complete game victory, with the only hit he allowed being a home run to Chili Davis. The two men recall that memorable night in the Bronx, and discuss the state of pitching in 2017.