FORT MYERS, Fla. — John Lackey walked his first batter in 20 innings this spring and gave up a run Thursday in the Boston Red Sox’s 5-3 victory against the Minnesota Twins.

The Red Sox scored twice in the eighth inning off Twins reliever Ron Mahay. Scott Schoenweis pitched a scoreless eighth for the Red Sox.

Lackey went five innings, giving up a run on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

“I think like (Jon) Lester and (Josh) Beckett, he’s ready for the season,” said Red Sox Manager Terry Francona. “I think he’s raring to go.”

Nick Blackburn, making his fifth appearance and third start, went five innings, giving up three runs and five hits with two strikeouts.

“Everything felt good today,” Blackburn said. “My curveball and change-up was spotty but for the most part I had a good feeling.”

Marco Scutaro went 2 for 3 with two RBI for the Red Sox.

Lackey, who finished the spring with a record of 1-1 (1.35 ERA), was pleased with his outing and his spring. The run he allowed was a third-inning homer to Jim Thome.

“I definitely didn’t get ahead (of hitters) as good today as I have in the past,” Lackey said. “(But) pretty much most of the balls that are getting put in play are on the ground. So I’m pretty happy with that.”

He’s not surprised at the number of walks he’s allowed.

“I’m not a guy that walks very many people, in general,” he said. “But there’s going to be some times in the regular season where a walk’s not a bad thing. So I’ll probably walk a few more during the season than I did here.”

After starting the last two seasons on the disabled list, he’s happy to be healthy.

The Twins left Fort Myers, Fla., after the game to fly home, where they will open their new park, Target Field, with exhibitions today and Saturday against St. Louis.

“I think everybody’s excited,” Blackburn said. “It will be good to be there. The Metrodome was good but it’s something new for us. I think we’re all excited to get in there, get it checked out, and see how things are going to go.”


NOTES: Francona announced pitcher Scott Atchison has made the team. Left-hander Alan Embree, who signed with the Red Sox on March 20, will remain in Fort Myers when the team heads north after today’s game. Embree is tentatively scheduled to pitch in a minor-league game Saturday. Pitcher Junichi Tazawa will have elbow ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow next week, which is likely to sideline him for about a year.

Francona said Dr. James Andrews will operate Tuesday in Birmingham, Ala.

Tazawa, a right-hander who turns 24 in June, signed with the Red Sox in December 2008. He was a combined 9-7 with a 2.55 ERA at three minor-league levels last year, and 2-3 with a 7.46 ERA in four starts and two relief appearances for Boston.


THE NEW York Times Co. has sold a small piece of a company that owns the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park and other sports properties.

Henry McCance, chairman emeritus of the venture capital firm, Greylock Partners, is buying a 1.2 percent stake in New England Sports Ventures LLC, leaving the Times Co. with 16.6 percent. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The Times Co. said it’s still looking to sell the rest. It has been racing to cut costs and raise cash.

The sale won’t have a major impact on the company’s finances. But unloading the rest of the stake could help the Times Co. pay down its debt.


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