LAKELAND, Fla. — Steve Pearce, the World Series MVP, needed a trip home to find his swing Thursday.

Pearce, a Lakeland High product, ended an 0-for-12 spring training start with two homers as the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers tied, 4-4.

“It just feels good to finally get a rhythm,” Pearce said. “For my first couple games, the timing just wasn’t there. I was kind of clueless at the plate. But now the last couple days it’s starting to feel a lot better.”

Pearce was given a Lakeland Dreadnaughts jersey with his number 5 on it by a fan. Pearce said the last time he homered in his hometown probably was in high school.

“Look in the stands and I’ll see people I haven’t seen in 15 years,” Pearce said. “That’s pretty cool.”

Eduardo Rodriguez struck out eight over five innings for the Red Sox, who snapped their seven-game losing streak.

“Good, really good – just in the second inning, I felt like I went out there and tried to throw ball and not pitch, but the rest was really good, working both sides with all of my pitches, slider and everything was working pretty good,” Rodriguez said.

Heath Hembree struck out the side in his inning of relief.

SLUGGER J.D. Martinez didn’t make the trip after being scratched from Wednesday’s game because of minor back tightness.

He instead played in a minor league game in Fort Myers, going 0 for 3 with a walk.

“He’s doing everything over there,” Manager Alex Cora said.

“He’s supposed to play (Friday in Tampa). I’m not going to push him. If he feels OK and wants at-bats (Friday), he’ll come here.”

ALSO IN Fort Myers, Dustin Pedroia went 0 for 2 and played three innings at second base, recording two assists.

Christian Vazquez went 3 for 5. Marco Hernandez appeared, going 0 for 3.

CORA CONFESSED to wondering sometimes if everything this spring is as calm and settled as it appears, with hardly an ounce of drama regarding competition for spots.

“Sometimes you wonder, ‘Are we doing it right?’ We’re doing it right but I have so much time on my hands, I’m like, ‘Should we do a little bit more, do a little less?’ ” Cora said. “It’s a lot different from last year, to tell you the truth, a lot different. … Sometimes you feel like you have so much time on your hands it’s not healthy, it’s not cool.”