FORT MYERS, Fla. — It looks as if Rusney Castillo is feeling much better.

Castillo hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat of spring training, but the Boston Red Sox lost 11-5 to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday.

Castillo signed a $72.5 million, seven-year contract with Boston last August, and then hit .333 with two homers in 10 games. The Cuban outfielder had been sidelined this spring because of a left oblique strain.

Castillo’s drive to center off a 2-1 fastball from Steve Johnson hit to the right of a yellow line on the wall separating doubles from homers.

“He made a pretty good impression,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said.

Castillo is scheduled to make his first start of the spring on Saturday when the Red Sox play the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton.

It had been a long wait for Castillo to play in a game. The Red Sox opened exhibition play on March 3. His first at-bat came more than two weeks into Grapefruit League play.

“I was obviously happy it turned out to be a home run but happier to go out there completely healthy and pain free,” Castillo said through a translator. “Felt really good and pain free.”

The Red Sox open the season April 6 in Philadelphia.

“That’s my main focus right now,” Castillo said. “Physically, as of right now I’ll be ready.”

Castillo said he doesn’t feel pressure from his contract, but he misses Cuba and his family.

“It’s probably the biggest difficulty, probably the biggest adjustment to not have my family and obviously I miss them a lot,” Castillo said. “But the good thing is I’ve been able to come to a good organization. I’ve been able to keep my mind on playing baseball.”

Castillo was hitless in two minor league games on practice fields before playing in Friday’s big league game. He said he was just trying to hit the ball up the middle when he connected for the home run.

“I was just trying to put a good swing on the ball,” he said. “But I felt I got that one today.”

Mookie Betts was 1 for 3 for Boston, and Hanley Ramirez had two hits, including an RBI single.


Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli was a late scratch because of right ankle soreness. He was replaced by Brock Holt. … Boston optioned left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez and catcher Blake Swihart to Triple-A Pawtucket.


Red Sox right-hander Justin Masterson pitched four innings and allowed one earned run. He walked two and struck out one while lowering his spring ERA from 6.48 to 5.11.

“He’s flashing pretty good velocity,” Farrell said.


Boston designated hitter David Ortiz sat out because of the lingering effects of dehydration and a touch of a cold.

“I don’t anticipate him in a game over the weekend,” Farrell said.

Closer Koji Uehara is still sidelined with a strained left hamstring. Farrell isn’t worried about his availability when the season begins.

“Our target is sometime the middle of next week by time he gets back on the mound,” Farrell said. “I fully expect him to be ready when the season begins.”