Final, 6-0 Red Sox: Ross Ohlendorf closes this one out, giving the Sox a 6-0 victory.
The story coming out of this one is quite obviously Jon Lester, who was nothing short of outstanding. He finished with 10 strikeouts, allowing just two hits and no walks (one HBP) in seven innings of work. You can also expect to see highlights of home runs from Dustin Pedroia and Cody Ross on your local news.
Top 9th, 6-0 Red Sox: Mauro Gomez goes deep with a homer to left field. The big first baseman got into that offering from Tyson Brummett, giving the Sox a 6-0 lead.
End 8th, 5-0 Red Sox: Here’s something you don’t hear all the time — Matt Albers works a perfect 1-2-3 inning.
These things happen in 5-0 spring training games.
Middle 8th, 5-0 Red Sox: With Lester out of the game and the Sox holding a five-run lead, this game has entered “waiting for it to end” mode. The Sox didn’t score in the eighth.
End 7th, 5-0 Red Sox: The players behind him changed, but the results stayed the same, as Lester mowed down the Phillies one last time, ending with a check-swing strikeout of Mayberry. The strikeout brings Lester’s total to 10 for the day.
It was an impressive showing from Lester, and it will have him and the Sox feeling good as he heads into his final tune-up for the season opener.
Middle 7th, 5-0 Red Sox: After a quick 1-2-3 inning for reliever Chad Qualls, Lester is heading back out for the seventh inning. Why not?
End 6th, 5-0 Red Sox: Quick work for Lester, as he strikes out Hunter Pence on three pitches, gets Jimmy Rollins to ground out to third on two pitches, and then gets Placido Polanco swinging on seven pitches. Lester has nine strikeouts through six innings of shutout ball.
Middle 6th, 5-0 Red Sox: Hector Neris worked himself in and out of trouble for the Phillies. He got Ryan Sweeney looking for the inning’s first out, followed by a four-pitch walk to Jose Iglesias. The Red Sox shortstop went first to third on a hit and run with Jason Repko, who lined a single into shallow center. But Neris got out of the inning without any damage, getting Lars Anderson pop out to third and Nick Punto to strike out looking to end it. For Punto, it’s his third K in the leadoff spot.
End 5th, 5-0 Red Sox: At this point, you almost have to want Lester to start giving up some hits so that he doesn’t save up all his best stuff. He got his seventh strikeout in the middle of another 1-2-3 inning.
He’s allowed just two hits and hit one batter in his five innings. Impressive to say the least.
Middle 5th, 5-0 Red Sox: After a few quiet innings at the plate, the Sox came back in a big way in the fifth. It began with a ripped double down the right field line by Lars Anderson, who’s hitting .353 this spring. After Punto and Pedroia struck out and flew out, respectively, Ortiz muscled a single into center to drive home Anderson.
That’s when Cody Ross stepped up and swung from his heels to absolutely crush a ball over the left field fence to give the Sox a 5-0 lead.
Now, Lester heads back to the hill looking to finish off his solid outing with another inning or two.
End 4th, 2-0 Red Sox: Lester looks good in another quick inning. He showed solid mobility fielding a Victorino bunt attempt and tagging out the runner near first, then got Wigginton and Mayberry swinging.
That’s strikeout No. 6 for Jon Lester, who had just four strikeouts total in his previous three starts.
Middle 4th, 2-0 Red Sox: Iglesias follows up his defensive play with a nice two-out single in the top of the fourth. It wasn’t hit particularly hard, but it found its way between short and third.
Despite the single, the more you watch him this spring, the harder it is to think he’s remotely close to being ready to play in the big leagues. He just looks young and inexperienced at the plate.
End 3rd, 2-0 Red Sox: The score remains the same, but only because of a picture-perfect relay from left fielder Cody Ross to shortstop Jose Iglesias to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. It was a thing of beauty, and it was just in time to gun down Lou Montanez at the plate.
Thanks in large part to that relay, and also to Joe Blanton striking out, Lester was able to work around back-to-back line-drive hits to left and a hit-by-pitch, as he got Placido Polanco to fly out to right to end the inning.
Middle 3rd, 2-0 Red Sox: Quick inning for the Red Sox at the plate, as Pedroia, Ortiz and Ross go down 1-2-3.
End 2nd, 2-0 Red Sox: It looks like Jon Lester brought his A game to Clearwater, as he’s now through two perfect innings. He got Ty Wigginton to watch strike three, induced a flyout from John Mayberry and got Johnny Ruiz to swing and miss at a high fastball for strike three.
It’s definitely the type of bounceback performance the Sox wanted to see out of Lester.
Middle 2nd, 2-0 Red Sox: The Sox double their lead, thanks to back-to-back hits from Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Sweeney to kick off the inning. With runners on first and third, Iglesias hit a grounder to Rollins for what should have been an easy double play, but the shortstop’s flip to second Freddy Galvis off the bag. Saltalamacchia scored, but the Sox weren’t able to cause any further damage, with Jason Repko striking out, Lars Anderson popping out, and Nick Punto hitting a lazy fly ball to left.
End 1st, 1-0 Red Sox: Jimmy Rollins gave Lester quite the battle to start things, off forcing Lester to empty out his bag of tricks right off the bat. Eventually though, Lester was able to get Rollins to swing at a high fastball for strike three.
Jose Iglesias then handled routine groundouts from Placido Polanco and Shane Victorino to end the inning.
Middle 1st, 1-0 Red Sox: David Ortiz and Cody Ross follow up Pedroia’s homer with a pair of flyouts to right and center, respectively. Jon Lester’s on his way to the mound.
Top 1st, 1-0 Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia’s ready for the season to start. He just took Joe Blanton deep over the right field wall to give the Sox a 1-0 lead.
You don’t often see Pedroia homer to the opposite field, but that’s mostly because he plays his home games at a field where that’s not an easy chore.
12 p.m.: Spring training is heading down the final stretch, and there are just 10 days separating us all from the Red Sox’ opening day in Detroit.
But there’s still work to be done, as the Red Sox look to finish their spring season strong in hopes of avoiding another dreadful start to the regular season, like the one they had last year.
That journey continues on Monday afternoon, when Jon Lester will be on the bump for Boston, as the Sox take on the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla.
The game begins at 1 p.m., and we’ll keep you updated throughout the afternoon to let you know what’s going on as the Sox begin their final full week of spring training.
Joe Blanton will get the start for the Phils.
After Lester, the pitching order will be Matt Albers, Ross Ohlendorf, Justin Germano, Justin Thomas, and Scott Atchison.
Lester is coming off a rough outing against the Pirates, when he allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks in just three innings. Prior to that start, he had allowed just three runs over eight innings.