Red Sox, Beckett Leave Spring Behind In Style With Rout Of Astros

This game was over almost as soon as it started. Going into their last game of spring training, the Red Sox put on an offensive show, downing the Astros 10-0 after a five run first inning.

It took Nelson Figueroa five batters before he managed to record his first out. Jacoby Ellsbury singled, Dustin Pedroia walked, and Carl Crawford laced a liner to center to score the first of what would be eight runs off of the Houston starter. By the time Jarrod Saltalamacchia brought in Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz on his first of three hits in the ballgame, Figueroa had given up four singles, three walks, and five big runs.

Josh Beckett faced rather less trouble. After hitting a batter in the first, Josh entered a lockdown mode we haven't seen from him in a while. Performing in his hometown, Beckett allowed just three hits in five innings of shutout ball, striking out three batters along the way. While he had some badly missed pitches, his changeup was exceptional at times, and his fastball had good late life, if it didn't reach the 95 MPH levels it used to.

After the fourth inning started very much like the first, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia (single), Marco Scutaro (single), Jacoby Ellsbury (double), Dustin Pedroia (walk), Carl Crawford (single), and Adrian Gonzalez all reaching base, scoring three runs in the process, Figueroa was finally lifted for Jose Valdez, who flashed some impressive stuff and quieted the Red Sox. 

While Boston would not score again until the ninth, when they picked up two runs on a Dan Butler homer, they would hardly need any more scoring. Dennys Reyes, Daniel Bard, Jonathan Papelbon, and Blake Maxwell provided four relatively quiet innings to finish up what Josh Beckett started, letting the Sox enter the regular season with a 10-0 win behind them.

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