USA TODAY Sports
The Boston arms kept the Twins off the scoreboard while Jarrod Saltalamacchia provided the firepower in a 5-0 win over Minnesota.
The Sox would waste little time getting on the board. Facing a pitcher in Liam Hendriks who seldom misses bats, the Sox were on top after just three at bats. The first saw Jacoby Ellsbury slap a hit to right field. With the ball hooking away from right fielder Oswaldo Arcia, Ellsbury turned on the after burners and slid safely into second with a single-turned-double. Ellsbury moved on to third when Jonny Gomes reached first on a single that third baseman managed to get a glove on, but couldn't turn into a highlight out, and then scored when Dustin Pedroia grounded into a double play.
Felix Doubront, meanwhile, had worked around a leadoff walk to Aaron Hicks to record a scoreless first. That would be the last walk Doubront offered up, and the Twins only managed another pair of baserunners off him in four scoreless innings of work. Still, the left-hander didn't quite pitch as efficiently as he would have liked, racking up a pretty decent pitch count despite the lack of results for the Twins.
Still, the scoreless innings were enough to preserve the lead for Boston into the fourth, where Jarrod Saltalamacchia provided some helpful cushion. With Mike Napoli on first after a fielder's choice, Jarrod Saltalamacchia smashed a long fly ball to right field for a two-run homer, souring Hendriks' outing and giving Boston the 3-0 lead. It's the first long ball we've seen from the catcher during a spring performance that has lacked little else.
Junichi Tazawa and Chris Carpenter were next out of the bullpen for the Red Sox, and while each faced a couple tricky situations, each managed to work out of it without any harm done. The same cannot be said for the Twins' Brian Duensing, who surrendered three straight hits to Shannon Wilkerson, Daniel Nava, and Heiker Meneses in the eighth, allowing Boston to seal the deal with two more runs. Anthony Carter pitched a scoreless ninth to put the 5-0 win in the books.