BRADENTON, Fla. – Jon Lester was happy with his mechanics. He wasn’t pleased with his results.

Boston’s scheduled opening-day starter allowed four runs and eight hits in three innings Wednesday as the Red Sox lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-5.

“I felt probably the best I felt mechanically and able to repeat in a long time,” Lester said. “To waste it is bad. But I guess that’s a positive from today, to really repeat some of the things that we’ve been working on.”

Lester allowed four runs in the third inning, when Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker hit run-scoring singles and Matt Hague hit his third spring-training homer, a two-run drive.

“This is not something I take lightly, results in spring training,” said Lester, whose ERA rose to 5.73. “I don’t think there’s anything we need to address. Like I said, I felt really sound and in good position when I threw the ball today. I was just a little bit under on my fastball. Instead of being at the knee, I was at the thigh. When you face big-league hitters, that’s what happens.”

Nate McLouth hit a two-run homer in the seventh off new Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey. Matt Hague, who led the International League in hits last year, went 2 for 3 with a home run and raised his average to .429.

Pirates starter Kevin Correia ran his scoreless streak to 10 1/3 innings before Josh Kroeger singled in a run in the second. Pittsburgh’s opening-day star- ter a year ago, Correia gave up four runs and eight hits in five innings, and allowed a long home run to Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the fourth.

“I was pretty efficient today as far as pitch count was concerned,” Correia said. “After I gave up a couple of runs, I was able to get some quick outs. I very easily could have went a few more innings if it was a regular-season start.”

Saltalamacchia, who entered hitting .077 (1 for 13), added an RBI double. Adrian Gonzalez doubled in a run for the Red Sox.

“This spring I really have been kind of getting underneath the ball and popping it up too much,” Saltalamacchia said, “just found the bat head dragging a little bit. So we really worked on trying to get the head out and stay on top.”

Evan Meek, limited to 24 appearances last year for Pittsburgh because of shoulder tendinitis, allowed a run in two innings.

Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine said outfielder Carl Crawford (wrist) worked on baserunning and will take part in soft toss today. Valentine wasn’t sure when Crawford would be able to take batting practice.

ATHLETICS: Third baseman Scott Sizemore underwent surgery on his left knee to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Sizemore, 27, will miss the entire season after getting hurt during the A’s first full-squad workout Feb. 27 in Phoenix.

MARINERS: Felix Hernandez allowed seven earned runs over five innings in his final spring- training start and Seattle was roughed up by the Chicago White Sox 13-8 at Peoria, Ariz.

Hernandez gave up 10 hits in five innings and eight runs overall. He struck out four, walked one and hit a batter. He threw 92 pitches, 56 for strikes. His next start is scheduled for March 28 when the Mariners open the season against Oakland in Tokyo.

ROYALS: Closer Joakim Soria will take a few days to consider his options after receiving a second opinion on his elbow injury.

The club said he had damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Soria had reconstructive elbow surgery in 2003 to replace the same ligament.

Luis Mendoza was knocked out of the game in the second inning after being struck by a Brandon Allen single during an 8-3 win over Oakland at Surprise, Ariz. Mendoza has a bruised left hamstring.

CARDINALS: Pitcher Chris Carpenter won’t start opening day after a setback in his recovery from a bulging disk in his neck.

Carpenter returned to St. Louis on Tuesday for tests. He threw live batting practice Sunday but didn’t feel right the next day. Manager Mike Matheny said “his shoulder is just not responding and they’re uncertain of the root of it.”

YANKEES: Phil Hughes allowed three hits, including a two-run homer by Matt Joyce, in five innings as New York beat Tampa Bay 5-2 at Port Charlotte, Fla.

DIAMONDBACKS: Daniel Hudson allowed two hits, a walk and struck out four in five innings of a 0-0 tie with Milwaukee at Scottsdale, Ariz.

Relievers David Hernadez, Charles Brewer and Jensen Lewis combined to yield three hits.

METS: Johan Santana pitched six innings in his longest outing of spring training — allowing one run on six hits — in a 2-1 loss to St. Louis at Jupiter, Fla.

NATIONALS: Stephen Strasburg was picked to make his first opening-day start April 5 at the Chicago Cubs.

Left-hander John Lannan allowed three hits in four scoreless innings in a 3-2 loss to Atlanta in 10 innings at Viera, Fla.

PADRES: Tim Stauffer pitched three-hit ball for six innings and had a two-run single, leading San Diego to a 3-0 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Glendale, Ariz., for a fifth straight win.

ORIOLES: Tommy Hunter returned from a back injury to allow two runs over five innings in his first start of spring training as Baltimore lost to Toronto 6-3 at Sarasota, Fla.

INDIANS: Kevin Slowey gave up four runs over four innings in another so-so effort to earn the final spot in the rotation, in a 5-3 loss to San Francisco at Goodyear, Ariz.

TWINS: Luke Hughes hit a three-run homer, and Liam Hendriks allowed two runs and four hits over four innings as Minnesota beat Detroit 7-3 at Lakeland, Fla.