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    Red Sox set to start games

    FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox will host Northeastern and Boston College Thursday as the exhibition season gets underway.

    The first game, against Northeastern, is scheduled to begin at 1:35 p.m., with the second game tentatively set for 4 p.m. There is no radio or TV coverage of either game.

    The Sox will use 14 relievers for one inning each in the seven-inning games. Northeastern is expected to start righthander Dylan Maki, a senior from Gloucester, Mass. Lefthander Nate Bayuk, a graduate student from Foxborough, Mass., will start for the Eagles. Righthander Terry Doyle, who is in Sox camp on a minor league contract, pitched for BC from 2005-08 and is scheduled to throw an inning against them.


    Eagles coach Mike Gambino was a Red Sox minor leaguer from 2000-01 and faced BC as a Sox player.

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    Other notes from spring training:

    WEDNESDAY’S WEATHER: After a foggy start, it warmed up to 81 degrees when the team was on the field.

     MEDICAL REPORT: Clay Buchholz (right hamstring) threw 30 pitches of live batting practice and felt fine. Mike Napoli (hips) won’t play in a game this weekend but feels ready to go. “Just waiting for them to clear me,” he said.

     FUNDAMENTALLY SPEAKING: In what was the last major full-squad workout before games start, the pitchers went through some fielding drills before 10 of the starters threw live batting practice. The position players worked on cutoffs and relays before joining the pitchers for BP.


     THUMBS UP: Alfredo Aceves threw live batting practice with the expected vigor after his lob-filled outing on Sunday. “He had a very good day today. Focused, good effort level,” manager John Farrell said . . . Daniel Nava, who has been focused on learning first base, spent time after the workout with coach Brian Butterfield. Nava has been dogged at trying to learn the intricacies of a new position.

     THUMBS DOWN: Felix Doubront, who has been slowed by a sore shoulder, threw in the bullpen for the first time since camp started. He looked tentative and was clearly fighting to get a feel for his pitches. It could be a few weeks before he is ready for a game.

     AROUND THE BASES: The Sox will use their regular position players against Northeastern on Thursday, then a group of prospects against Boston College in the second game of a doubleheader. Joel Hanrahan starts the first game, Koji Uehara the second . . . Ryan Westmoreland, the former top prospect who has undergone two brain surgeries, reported to minor league camp, walking with the aid of a cane. He remains determined to restart his career . . . The Sox condensed their activities this season, using the four “cloverleaf” fields at their complex instead of all six. The thought was too much time was wasted going between diamonds.


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