SCORE: Red Sox 4, Twins 1
BREAKDOWN: Batting against Minnesota righty Kevin Correia, A.J. Pierzynski doubled to left in the second, scoring Mike Napoli, who had singled. John Lackey took the 1-0 lead into the seventh. Lackey lugged a 9.49 spring ERA into the game, but dazzled the downtrodden Twins, allowing only four hits and no runs over 6⅓ innings. He threw 90 pitches, 60 for strikes. Will Middlebrooks, Boston’s best hitter this spring, banged a triple into the triangle in the fifth, but Jackie Bradley Jr. (foul out), Daniel Nava (ground out), and Dustin Pedroia (fly to center) couldn’t get him home. Minnesota tied the game, 1-1, in the seventh on a double by Aaron Hicks off Edward Mujica. The Sox regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh when Xander Bogaerts doubled to lead off and pinch runner Mike McCoy scored on a Wall-ball double by Middlebrooks. McCoy and David Ross tacked on RBI doubles in the eighth. This was almost like a real game: Junichi Tazawa pitched the eighth and Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for the Sox.
THUMBS UP: The public address announcer at JetBlue Park did not announce the count after every pitch. That (Larry Lucchino) experiment died a quick death and hopefully will never be heard again.
THUMBS DOWN: David Ortiz hit into a double play in the first and struck out swinging in the third. He is batting .054 (2 for 37) in Florida. But we seem to remember him hitting .688 in the World Series.
MEDICAL REPORT: Shane Victorino (sore left side) had three hits in six at-bats in a game against Twins minor leaguers at the Red Sox’ complex. Victorino played both right and center field. Asked how he felt afterward, Victorino said, “good,’’ then grunted and peeled off in another direction. Lefty Craig Breslow pitched an inning in the minor league game, giving up two hits and one unearned run. It was Breslow’s second appearance in a spring game. Breslow was placed on the 15-day disabled list — as was Steven Wright — but he will be available as early as April 6.
AROUND THE BASES: Grady Sizemore’s night: Walked in the second; doubled high off The Wall in the fourth; grounded to first in the sixth. Jackie Bradley Jr.’s night: Grounded to second in the second, stranding two runners in scoring position; foul pop in the fifth, stranding Middlebrooks on third in a no-out situation; popped to center, stranding a runner on second in the seventh. Sizemore was the only Sox player to play the full nine innings. The Sox’ center field “competition” is feeling like a rout. The Sox are expected to make an announcement on their starting center fielder by the weekend.
NEXT GAME: The Sox play the Twins on Friday at Hammond Stadium at 1:05 p.m. The game will be televised on NESN.