NEW YORK -- Jorge Posada's unhappiness with the Yankees' decision to drop him to ninth in the batting order Saturday seemed to dissipate Sunday, with Posada apologizing for his decision to ask out of the lineup 30 minutes before the middle game of the series.
But down the hall, Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, took a sympathetic view of Posada's dilemma, realizing that it's somewhat similar to his own.
Like Posada, Varitek was once his team's No. 1 catcher, but has seen his role diminished in the last two years.
"I haven't talked to him,'' stressed Varitek, "but positionally, it's different going from catcher to DH because you're so much in the flow of the game as a catcher.
"It's hard to compare apples to oranges, because he's produced. I had a situation in 2009 where a pretty special player Victor Martinez came in who could really hit. It didn't diminish what I did behind the plate, but he was such a valuable asset to our lineup.
"My choice at that point was: how can I embrace this? Well, Vic made it easy to embrace because we connected right away . . . I can't really speak for another human being, but I know Posada has been through the grind behind the plate for a lot of years. It's a big responsibility. I'm sure that alone is difficult for our position.''
Varitek said though he doesn't know Posada personally, he retains a "huge respect,'' for the catcher. Walking into the batter's box and not having Posada behind the plate is "very different.''
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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.
Kyle Kendrick strengthened his bid for a spot in the rotation by allowing two runs in six innings and striking out six and Jackie Bradley homered as a Red Sox split squad played to a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.
Kendrick, 32, a non-roster invitee to spring training, allowed eight hits and a walk in his sixth start this spring. He's been the Red Sox best starter with an ERA of 2.17.
With David Price out until May and lefty Drew Pomeranz still a question mark, Kendrick could find his way into the rotation behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.
Bradley went 2-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. He's hitting .244 in spring training games.
The Phillies pushed across the tying run in the ninth off lefty reliever Robby Scott, the first run he's allowed this spring in 10 innings.
The Minnesota Twins host the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.