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red sox spring training

John Lackey strong in Red Sox win

The Red Sox played the Puerto Rican national team on Tuesday:

 SCORE: Red Sox 4, Puerto Rico 3

 BREAKDOWN: In an exhibition game against Puerto Rico’s team for the World Baseball Classic, John Lackey looked strong with three shutout innings. He allowed three hits without a walk and struck out two. Lackey threw 31 of 45 pitches for strikes against a lineup that included Angel Pagan, Alex Rios, Carlos Beltran, Yadier Molina, and Mike Aviles. “I felt really good tonight. It was a really good day in the process. I feel like my arm strength is getting better,” Lackey said.

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 THUMBS UP: Will Middlebrooks and Mike Napoli had long home runs to left field. It was the second of the spring for Napoli. Ryan Lavarnway was 3 for 3 with two doubles. Mitch Maier and Stephen Drew also drove in runs.

 THUMBS DOWN: Righthanded reliever Clayton Mortensen had a rough fourth inning, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk. But he did recover and pitch two scoreless innings.

 MEDICAL REPORT: Lefthanded reliever Franklin Morales (lower back) is not close to pitching but did some exercising. “We don’t have a date marked on the calendar of when he’s going to get back on the mound, even for a bullpen session, let alone a game,” manager John Farrell said . . . Lefty Craig Breslow is still playing long toss. Farrell said it’s the “early stages” of his program. It’s fair to wonder whether Morales or Breslow will be ready for Opening Day . . . Jacoby Ellsbury missed the game because of a virus.

 AROUND THE BASES: Daniel Nava started in right field and did not get a ball in four innings before he moved to first base. Nava started two games in right last season and the Sox want to see how versatile he is. “Given the potential makeup of our bench and our extra outfield situation, the ability to go to right field would be key in his situation,” Farrell said. “Not to say his roster status hinges on that. But we want to take a look at it.” . . . The game drew 7,901, which wasn’t a sellout. But it was a lively crowd as the Puerto Rico fans sang, pounded drums, and blew horns throughout.

 NEXT GAME: Wednesday at 1:35 p.m. against the Pirates. at JetBlue Park. The Sox are scheduled to start Jon Lester with Rubby De La Rosa following. Jeff Locke will start against the Sox for the second time this spring.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.
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