FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox will keep J.D. Martinez out of games for a couple of days at least in order to allow the tight back that forced him to be scratched from Wednesday’s game to heal.

After the 9-5 loss to the Twins, Manager Alex Cora downplayed the setback but said that in addition to not playing on Wednesday, Martinez will not make the bus trip to Tampa to play against the Yankees on Friday..

“J.D., just tight back,” said Cora. “We’re not going to take a chance. He wasn’t going to play tomorrow anyway so he’ll come here, get treatment and see how he feels. The plan was for him to go to Tampa and play the outfield. So we’ll most likely keep him here. If he’s OK to play, probably get at-bats on the minor league side. There’s no need to rush him.”

In the loss, the Red Sox’s seventh in a row, Brian Johnson was charged with the loss after allowing four runs on four hits in 12/3 innings.

Ryan Brasier threw his first live batting practice before the game. He’s been bothered all spring by an infected pinky that maybe-almost-perhaps has healed.

“It was good to get on the mound and face a couple of hitters and a few more days hopefully get in the game,” said Brasier. “I’ve been anxious to get off the mound for a while and finally get into it. Feeling good and throwing some good pitches, so looking forward to what comes next.”

Even with the late start, Brasier will be ready for the start of the season.

Reliever Tyler Thornburg had an infected cyst-like area removed from under his chin. He was able to play catch on Wednesday.

“He should be back in action not later than Saturday,” said Cora.

Starting in Lakeland, Florida, on Thursday against the Tigers is Eduardo Rodriguez with Sandy Leon catching. Also going on the trip are Blake Swihart, Rafael Devers, Andrew Benintendi, Tzu-Wei Lin, Gorkys Hernandez and Bryce Brentz.

After Rodriguez on Thursday, expect Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree and Domingo Tapia.

Instead of facing the Yankees on Friday, Rick Porcello will pitch in a minor-league game and will be caught by Christian Vazquez.

Hector Velazquez will start, with Swihart catching, against the Yankees.

Chris Sale pitches Monday, which is when Hembree will pitch again.

BLUE JAYS: Marcus Stroman has been picked to start the opener against the visiting Detroit Tigers on March 28.

The 27-year-old struggled last season, going 4-9 with a 5.54 ERA. He is 41-34 in his five-year big league career.

ORIOLES: Alex Cobb has been picked by new manager Brandon Hyde to start the opener on March 28 at the New York Yankees.

Cobb was 5-15 with a 4.90 ERA last year in his first season with the Orioles after signing a $57 million, four-year contract on March 21.

NATIONALS: GM Mike Rizzo said the team and reliever Tony Sipp agreed in principle to a deal, pending the successful completion of a physical exam.

Rizzo did not disclose the financial terms, but a person familiar with the contract told The Associated Press that Sipp is guaranteed $1.25 million and the agreement includes a mutual option for 2020.

CUBS: Reliever Pedro Strop has a strained right hamstring, eliminating the likely candidate to close at the start of the season as Brandon Morrow recovers from elbow surgery.

Strop, a 33-year-old right-hander, felt a hamstring issue on his last pitch on Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels, his second appearance of spring training. An MRI on Monday revealed a mild strain. The Cubs said Strop is able to play catch but will not participate in game-related drills during the next week.

CARDINALS: Pitcher Carlos Martinez will begin the season on the injured list as the two-time All-Star tries to work his way back from shoulder weakness.

Martinez will not appear in any exhibition games. He is to throw on flat ground for the next week before moving to a mound.

St. Louis has not announced a timetable for Martinez’s arm strengthening program. The pitcher received a platelet-rich plasma injection two weeks ago, and Manager Mike Shildt said treatment improved Martinez’s condition.

A 27-year-old right-hander, Martinez was the Cardinals’ Opening-Day starter last year but did not pitch for St. Louis from May 8 until June 5 last year because of a strained right lat muscle, then was out between July 19 and 30 because of a strained right oblique and between July 30 and Aug. 21 because of a strained right shoulder.