FORT MYERS, Fla. — In his final at-bat, David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox hit his first home run of the spring Thursday in a 7-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Ortiz announced on his 40th birthday in November that this will be his final season. He played in 342 Grapefruit League games in Fort Myers over 20 years with Minnesota and Boston.

With two outs in the fifth, Ortiz launched a ball over the right-field wall.

“Great,” Ortiz said of his home run. “These are Fort Myers fans that support the Twins, support the Red Sox and I’ve been here for a while. I bet you a lot of these people watched me playing when I played for the (minor league) Miracles down here. I’m pretty sure they’re super happy with how my career has gone.

“You see a kid start and 20 years later, you see his career and being the way it has been, and then you get to see his last spring training game, and it’s something that makes it special.”

Ortiz struck out to end the first inning and grounded out to end the third before his home run.

“I think it matters to David,” Manager John Farrell said of the solo shot, “because he didn’t like the way the previous at-bat went, asked for another. And to see him have that kind of intensity tuned up a little bit against one of their starters, good to see him square the ball up.”

Two batters earlier, Twins center fielder Byron Buxton made a terrific play, sprinting back and diving to catch Josh Rutledge’s drive to the warning track.

“The ball was really carrying today, center and left particularly,” Minnesota Manager Paul Molitor said. “I thought he had a pretty good gauge on it but it just kind of fooled him a little bit, but he had the athleticism to make the adjustment at the last second to make the catch. Just one of those things that shows what his capabilities are out there. It’s pretty special. And he had good at-bats today, too.”

The Red Sox opened the scoring in the third when Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with a walk and scored when Xander Bogaerts grounded into a double play.

Hanley Ramirez of Boston hit his second home run of the spring.

Eddie Rosario hit his third homer, and Danny Santana had three hits and two RBI for Minnesota.

Clay Buchholz went four innings, giving up one run on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts. He also gave up the solo home run to Rosario in the fourth.

“Felt good. It’s a good way to wind down,” Buchholz said. “I took a step forward every time out this spring. The two-seamer was a lot better today. That’s what I worked on between this start and my last start. I got some ground balls because of it. Everything else felt good.”

NOTES: Red Sox right-hander Carson Smith (flexor muscle strain) and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (subluxation of his right knee) will start the season on the disabled list, as will right-hander Brandon Workman and catcher Christian Vazquez, who are returning from Tommy John surgery.


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