Felix Doubront shines in first spring start; JetBlue Park fails to hold Mike Napoli homer
|03.02.14 at 4:28 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Making his spring training debut, Felix Doubront acquitted himself quite well in pitching two innings against the Orioles Sunday afternoon at JetBlue Park.
Doubront allowed just one hit while striking out three in helping highlight the Red Sox‘ 8-6 win over the Orioles.
“He really put himself in a good position to execute pitches today,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “It was encouraging to see, the quality of the strikes he threw with his fastball in particular, a very good change-up, a really good start to build off of for his first outing in camp here.”
Offensively, Mike Napoli highlighted the Sox’ output thanks to a towering two-run homer over the center field fence. The blast was the first baseman’s third hit in his first four spring training at-bats and scored David Ortiz.
“Biggest thing, he’s come into camp without having to go through all he had to go through last offseason and it’s freed up his mind,” Farrell said regarding his first baseman. “There are no questions about how his hip is feeling and what are the games played, the transition to first base, so all those things are behind him and he comes in in really good shape, comes in probably the biggest thing is free of mind of anything he was contending with last offseeeaon and coming into camp. It’s a normal offseason for him and even in batting practice and live BP you see him a little more aggressive, particularly on the pull side at times but yeah, he put a good swing on the ball today.”
Bryce Brentz also contributed with an RBI single up the middle in the fifth, scoring Jackie Bradley Jr, who led off the frame with a double off the left field wall. Ortiz also contributed with an RBI ground out, scoring Brentz. Bradley Jr. would later drive in Xander Bogaerts with an RBI single, his second hit of the day against a left-handed pitcher.
Reliever Edward Mujica, making his Red Sox debut, pitched a perfect third inning.
Also coming out of the bullpen for the Sox was Alex Wilson, who escaped a jam in the fourth, ultimately stranding runners on second and third. Wilson allowed back-to-back hits off the left field wall, with Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes managing to hold the runners by expertly playing the ball off the screen without letting it hit the ground.
Mike Yastrzemski, grandson of Carl Yastrzemski, came on in the sixth as a pinch-runner and scored the visitors’ first run.
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