FORT MYERS, Fla (CBS) – It may only be Spring Training, but Red Sox ace Jon Lester was happy to get his first start out of the way.
“I’m just glad the first one is done and over with,” Lester said after pitching two scoreless innings in a 5-0 Red Sox win over the Minnesota Twins Tuesday afternoon. “That one always seems to give me the hardest trouble.”
Jon Lester Talks About His Spring Debut
It took Lester 27 pitches, 19 of them strikes, to get his six outs. The lefty gave up a hit and a walk, and struck out one.
“It was good, good to get up and down twice,” Lester said. “Got the pitch count up a little bit, felt good. Threw some good pitches, threw some bad ones. Just move on and look forward to the next one.”
Reliever Alfredo Aceves followed with two scoreless innings of his own, and closer Jonathan Papelbon pitched a 1-2-3 fifth.
Papelbon needed just six pitches to retire the side, and the Red Sox closer already feels like he is in the zone.
“I felt as locked in as I’m going to get all spring,” Papelbon said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to continue that throughout the spring and into the season.”
Papelbon hopes to pitch in 8-10 games this spring, and said his control is as good as it was at the end of 2010.
“The last couple months of the season last year, I was throwing the ball really well and tried to take that into this spring and it looks like I’ve been able to do that,” Papelbon said.
Jonathan Papelbon Already “Locked In” This Year
The Red Sox got two hits off the bat of designated hitter Mike Cameron. Jed Lowrie drove in a run in the fifth to make it 2-0 Boston.
With the win, Boston takes a 2-1 lead in the annual Mayor’s Cup between the Red Sox and Twins.