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Red Sox regulars in Port Charlotte against Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Torey Luvullo managed the Red Sox [1] lineup of regulars that made the 45-minute trip north on I-75 Monday morning to take on the Tampa Bay Rays [2].

Monday’s lineup:
Jacoby Ellsbury [3] CF
Dustin Pedroia [4] 2B
Shane Victorino [5] RF
Jonny Gomes LF
Stephen Drew [6] SS
Ryan Sweeney [7] DH
Drew Sutton 3B
Mike Carp 1B
David Ross [8] C
Alfredo Aceves [9] P

Lovullo said Aceves was expected to get two innings of work and 35 pitches before Daniel Bard [10] comes on for an inning.

Other notes: Felix Doubront [11] threw 31 pitches in a two-inning simulated game Monday at JetBlue Park.

On Bard, Chris Hernandez and Terry Doyle following Aceves: “We’ve got Bardo, Hernandez and doyle. After that, go to younger kids. Goal right now is to get everybody their work in, get everyone up to their pitch counts, then make adjustments as needed. Pretty much the plan.”

MLB executive Tony LaRussa was in town to talk to Joe Maddon [12] on Monday morning about MLB rule changes this year, most prominently the change that makes the fake throw to third and then first a balk this year. Maddon wasn’t a big fan and said teams will adjust. Lovullo agreed.

“I think it gives the baserunners a little bit more of an advantage to steal bases,” said Lovullo, who is serving as Farrell’s bench coach. “They’re very aware of the first to third move, which might slow their initial jump. We think there might be some new trending in holding runners on third base. You might see managers holding runners at third base as if they’re on first base. We’re not exactly sure what’s going to happen. We’re prepared for anything, because of the change. Moving forward, we think it’s going to help us more than anything.

On Bard: “As he’s starting to move forward, I think he’s on the right track and things are moving in a really positive direction for him. He’s comfortable and confident of getting back to the form that we’re all expecting. We don’t want to make much of it, other than letting him go out there and doing his thing and showing us where he’s at.”

On Farrell: “returning” to face Blue Jays in Dunedin Monday: “Sure there’s going to be mixed emotions on both sides. John will go out there and handle it well.” Lovullo was Farrell’s first base coach for two seasons in Toronto before being hired to serve as Farrell’s bench coach in Boston.

On returning to Toronto on Friday, April 5: “I think [Red Sox third base coach] Brian Butterfield will have that place torn down, because they love him there. He’s going to get a standing ovation. Wait for that one. Remember I said it. But deservedly so. He spent a lot of time there and did some incredible things.”

On his experience in Toronto: “Personally speaking, I spent two really good years there. I have nothing but fond memories of the front office to the people inside the clubhouse, they’re my friends and I miss them. I’ll be anxious to get up there and say hello to them. However the fans perceive that and what I may encounter up there, it’s up to them.”

On what Yunel Escobar [13], whom he knew in Toronto the last two seasons, will mean to Rays at shortstop: “As far as tools and overall raw stregnth, he’s top of the list. He makes every play look easy. It’s a new fresh start for him and I know he’s probably going to take his game to the next level and become an elite shortstop, which he certainly has the capabilities of becoming. He’s a special guy with a special baseball mind.”

For more, visit the Red Sox team page at weei.com/redsox [14].