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RED SOX 4, BRAVES 1 | SPRING TRAINING REPORT

Pitching and defense get Red Sox on track

David Ortiz connects for his first hit of the spring ,a double to center in the fourth inning. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Steven Senne/Associated Press

David Ortiz connects for his first hit of the spring, a double to center in the fourth inning.

SCORE: Red Sox 4, Braves 1.

RECORD: 2-5-1.

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BREAKDOWN: Felix Doubront pitched four shutout innings, allowing two hits without a walk and striking out three. Five relievers allowed one run on two hits. Atlanta’s Jason Heyward homered off Junichi Tazawa in the sixth inning. The Sox broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the seventh. Jonathan Herrera had an RBI double and Ryan Lavarnway a two-run single.

THUMBS UP: Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts had a rough day in the field on Wednesday against the Cardinals, but they were solid against the Braves. Middlebrooks charged a slow roller and made a strong running throw to get Ramiro Pena in the third inning. Bogaerts went deep in the hole to get a force at second base in the fourth inning.

THUMBS DOWN: Umpire Marvin Hudson had the nerve to call ball four when Koji Uehara was facing Gerald Laird in the fifth inning. “Can you believe it?” catcher David Ross said. In truth, the ball was outside because Uehara was working on a slider.

MEDICAL REPORT: Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who hasn’t played since twisting his left ankle Monday, is scheduled to start Saturday night against the Orioles. Manager John Farrell said the injury was the result of a new pair of cleats and Pierzynski is now wearing something that fits better. Righthander Matt Barnes, who was temporarily shut down with a tender shoulder, has started throwing again.

AROUND THE BASES: David Ortiz was 0 for 8 in spring training before doubling to the triangle in center field in the fourth inning . . . The Red Sox will not make their first cuts until after Tuesday’s split-squad doubleheader, Farrell said . . . Former Red Sox manager Joe Morgan attended the game . . . Dustin Pedroia, Jonny Gomes, David Ross, and Mike Napoli went to the Florida Gulf Coast University basketball game Thursday night. The “Dunk City” Eagles beat Eastern Tennessee.

NEXT GAME: The Sox have a split-squad doubleheader against the Orioles on Saturday. Game 1 will be at 1:05 p.m. in Sarasota. Game 2 will be at 7:05 p.m. in Fort Myers. Henry Owens will start the first game and Brandon Workman the nightcap.

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