FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) – Kevin Youkilis hit a three-run homer in the first inning to lead the Boston Red Sox to 6-0 exhibition win over Boston College on Saturday. Park.
The win came in the opener of a doubleheader, with the second game against Northeastern University later Saturday.
“Today’s actually a really fun day, all the way around,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “It ends up being a good day of baseball.”
Francona spoke to WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jonny Miller and other reporters after the game.
In his first game action since Aug. 2, when a thumb injury ended his 2010 season, Youkilis went 1 for 1 with a walk.
“It was good,” Youkilis said. “It was fun just to get back out there. The balls off the bat, that’s one of the things, the adrenaline rush and all that when you’re playing live and when you’re hitting.”
Youkilis spoke to Jonny and other reporters after the game.
Youkilis, who was limited to 102 games last season with a tear of the adductor muscle in his right thumb, was among the American League leaders in several offensive categories at the time of his injury.
“I was actually pretty calm,” he said. “I think it was more along the lines of just trying to remember your routine. When you haven’t played in a while you got to remember what time you get ready. And preparation for the game, I think that’s the key.”
Youkilis also made a diving stop at third base to throw out Garret Smith in the first inning. Youkilis is moving back across the diamond after primarily playing first base for the past five seasons. The Red Sox acquired slugger Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego to play first.
“That was nice,” Francona said of the play. “He’s worked hard. He spent a lot of time over there with (coach Tim Bogar). I think he’ll be just fine.”
Dustin Pedroia, whose fractured left foot limited him to just 73 games last season, walked and scored on Youkilis’ homer.
“I wasn’t out there very long but I felt good,” Pedroia said. “My foot felt good. My timing’s all jacked up but that takes some time. But, physically, I felt great.”
Pedroia spoke to Jonny and other reporters after the game.
Pedroia, who had no defensive opportunities at second base, had to sprint down the first-base line on his second-inning groundout to second baseman Anthony Melchionda, testing his surgically repaired foot.
“It’s just nice to see both (Youkilis and Pedroia) on the field running around looking healthy,” Francona said.
Pedroia had a pin inserted into the foot to repair the fracture he sustained fouling a ball off his foot in San Francisco on June 25. He appeared in just two games after that, on Aug. 17 and 18.
“I haven’t (sprinted down the line) in a while but it felt good,” he said.
Right-hander Stolmy Pimentel, who pitched for Single-A Salem last season, started and pitched two perfect innings with two strikeouts for the Red Sox.
Red Sox pitchers held Boston College hitless until the seventh inning, when Jim Laufer led off with a single off right-hander Matt Fox. It was just BC’s second baserunner after right-hander Clevelan Santeliz walked Mike Sudol in the fifth.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)