Twins Top Red Sox With Strong Pitching Performance

This is Jose Iglesias. This picture was captioned "Jose Inglesias." Neither Jose Ig nor Inglesias played today. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

It was a dull day at work for the Red Sox Friday, thanks to a strong Twins pitching performance led by the young Liam Hendrik's three scoreless innings.

While the Twins pitchers were nigh-unhittable, the same could not be said for Jon Lester, who continues to struggle to record outs in Spring. Showing the same lack of command that has hurt him in every outing so far, Lester would give up one walk, hit two batters, and allow five hits en route to four innings of two-run ball. By results, it's not a terrible outing, but we still haven't seen (or heard) Lester look like Lester yet.

The Sox would make their one offensive stand of the night in the fourth inning, when Pedro Ciriaco--yes, him again--doubled and came around to score on Kevin Youkilis' single. The attack would cut the Twins' lead to 2-1.

Unfortunately, that would prove to be the final score, but that was at least good news for a pair of Sox pitchers in need of a win. Andrew Miller came first, and after walking Joe Mauer, struck out Justin Morneau and Trevor Plouffe to finish the inning unharmed. The outing earned some commentary from Bobby Valentine, who was of the mind that Miller should drop the windup. The experiment begins again!

Also strong was Andrew Bailey, who struck out two batters of his own in a perfect inning of work. It's good to see him getting up to speed after a slow post-injury start.

The Good

Andrew Miller and Andrew Bailey, as mentioned before.

Pedro Ciriaco is playing his way up the depth chart, if not necessarily onto the major league roster. I don't care what month it is, if you're hitting .588 without a tee, that's impressive.

Ryan Lavarnway gave the Sox reason to keep him in Major League camp for a little longer with a 2-for-2 night, accounting for a third of Boston's hits.

The Bad

Andrew Miller out of the windup, apparently.

Jose Iglesias was a late scratch with a groin injury. He's expected to be back to work tomorrow, so it's nothing to panic about, but it's certainly not good news.

The Ugly

Jon Lester is starting to become a source of concern. The Sox can't live without him, and while this is only spring, it would be nice to see him pitch the way we've come to expect. Maybe he's just getting his April struggles out of the way early again?

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