FORT MYERS, Fla. – Boston starter Felix Doubront limited Minnesota to two hits in four innings and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a two-run homer in the second of the Red Sox’s two split-squad games Friday, a 5-0 night victory over the Minnesota Twins.
The Red Sox also played to a 3-3, 10-inning tie with Baltimore in the afternoon.
In the night game, Doubront had four strikeouts and walked one.
“My arm felt pretty good,” Doubront said. “Little bit off in the first inning but I figured it out later, hitter after hitter. My control was a little bit off, but I finished strong. I worked with more tempo and finished strong.”
Doubront threw 68 pitches, 42 for strikes, and pitched more efficiently as the game went on.
“(His) stuff continues to get more sharp each time out,” said Manager John Farrell.
“I thought he showed the ability to make an adjustment from one pitch to the next. And as he got deeper into the number of pitches thrown, I thought there was better feel and touch to the overall mix of stuff. So another progressive step for him.”
The Red Sox opened the scoring in the first inning when Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a double, took third on Jonny Gomes’ infield single and scored when Dustin Pedroia grounded into a double play.
Twins right-hander Liam Hendriks gave up three runs on five hits in four innings.
“I felt really good, fastball command was extremely good tonight,” Hendriks said. “You look at it, first hitter, Ellsbury, jammed him, got the ball back and it had a little bit of pine tar on it. So I got it in there. He just turned on it a little bit. First two hits, I mean, jam shot and a rollover ground ball that just found the right spot.
But Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire would like to have seen Hendriks throw a better mix of pitches.
“Hendriks threw the ball good,” Gardenhire said. “But didn’t really change his speeds much. All fastballs tonight. Really weren’t many spinners in there, changeups, nothing. I mean, it’s pretty impressive that you can throw all fastballs, but it doesn’t really work. You’ve got to mix in your other stuff. We noticed that quite a bit. Made one mistake to Salty. He killed it. But for the most part, he was efficient.”
After Saltalamacchia hit his first home run of the spring to make it 3-0 in the fourth, Boston added two runs in the eighth off Brian Duensing. Shannon Wilkerson led off with a bunt single, advanced on Daniel Nava’s single to center and scored on Heiker Meneses’ double. Daniel Butler drove in Nava with a sacrifice fly.
In the first game, Baltimore’s Zach Britton allowed just one hit in 32/3 innings as the Orioles and Red Sox played to a 3-3 tie.
Former Deering High star Ryan Flaherty hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th after the Red Sox scored twice in the top half.
Of Britton, Showalter said: “That’s the best he’s thrown this spring. That was impressive,” He’s real crisp. It’s good to see.”
Britton and four other pitchers combined to limit the Red Sox to one run and two hits through nine innings.
Boston scored two runs in the top of the 10th on a home run by Juan Carlos Linares and an RBI single by Ronald Bermudez.
Clayton Mortensen, looking for a spot on the Red Sox staff, allowed two hits in three innings.
“It was good to get out there and stretch myself. My particular role this year could involve many things, possibly a spot start in the future. It was good to get out there and do well,” Mortensen said.
Outfielder Mitch Maier left the afternoon game in the third inning after he injured his left hand on a sliding catch of J.J. Hardy’s line drive. “I feel like I jammed it and kind of rolled it under me,” Maier said. He’ll have X-rays. … Boston LHP Franklin Morales has a slight bulge in one of the disks in his back, Farrell said. He received an epidural injection. “There’s no target date to put a ball back in his hand yet,” Farrell said. “It removes someone that we had plans to stretch out.” The Red Sox were hoping to have Morales as an extra starter. … The Red Sox sent pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster to Triple-A Pawtucket and assigned catcher Christian Vazquez to Double-A Portland.
SS Stephen Drew, who’s suffering from post-concussion symptoms after being hit with a pitch on March 7, will begin exercising on a bicycle to see if he’s still affected by the blow. “We still feel like it’s going to be a few days yet before he’s able to get back on the field,” Farrell said. …Red Sox DH David Ortiz is feeling better. “His symptoms have decreased,” Farrell said. Ortiz is out with a sore left heel. … The Orioles traded minor league INF Michael Flacco, brother of Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco, to the Red Sox for cash considerations or a player to be named later.