FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis drove in fifth-inning runs to help the Boston Red Sox to a 6-4 exhibition victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday

Kevin Slowey threw three perfect innings for Minnesota. After missing the last half of last season with a right wrist injury that required surgery, Slowey is excited to be throwing well with opening day less than a month away.

“It’s like being in Little League again,” Slowey said. “You just can’t wait to get out there.”

The Red Sox welcomed back captain Jason Varitek, but scratched starter Josh Beckett because of an illness.

Minor league reliever Ryne Miller took his place and gave up three first-inning runs and two hits and two walks. The Red Sox used eight pitchers, but Manager Terry Francona wasn’t concerned.

“He’ll pitch again on his normal day,” Francona said of Beckett. “It might cost him getting stretched out by one inning.

“He wasn’t feeling well. He’ll just stay right on his schedule. The biggest thing is for him to get himself better.”

Varitek, who had missed his team’s first 10 spring games while tending to a family matter, struck out and was hit by a pitch. He caught four innings.

“You’re getting your body acclimated to playing along with seeing a lot of new arms,” Varitek said. “That was a little bit different. You try to kind of be a little more aware.”

Slowey struck out four, including David Ortiz, who is 1 for 19 this spring.

Pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka said he’s feeling better but is waiting to make a decision on when he’ll have his first throwing session of spring training.

Matsuzaka played catch for about 10 minutes from 60 feet a day after he was scratched from throwing batting practice because of a stiff neck.

Boston made its first round of roster moves, reassigning 11 players to minor league camp and optioning infielder Jose Iglesias to Double-A Portland.

Pitcher Jon Lester said he wouldn’t compare his battle with cancer four years ago to Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland’s recent brain diagnosis.

Boston announced Saturday the 19-year-old outfielder will have surgery Tuesday for a cavernous malformation in his brain.

“I mean you’re talking about a brain, it’s a little different situation,” Lester said.

A cavernous malformation is a cluster of abnormal or dilated blood vessels that affects the central nervous system. Symptoms can include bleeding in the brain, seizures and headaches.



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