David Ortiz, who recently announced his intentions to avoid the April swoons that have plagued him in recent years, finished February on a strong note, hitting his first home run of spring and adding a line drive single. Jason Varitek also chipped in two hits.
The three runs Ortiz drove in weren’t enough to undo the damage that had already been done on the mound, however:
The early deficit was provided courtesy of Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield, who allowed four runs in the first four innings. Still, it’s hard to really fault either pitcher too much. Matsuzaka was really just hurt by one bad pitch, allowing a homer to Jason Kubel, while Wakefield was the victim of some shoddy defense from shortstop Brent Dlugach.
If there was one pitcher who was truly disappointing, it was Daniel Bard, really. The flamethrowing youngster allowed hard contact to multiple batters and gave up a walk, providing the Twins two more runs in the fifth inning.
Still, the Sox weren’t about to go down so easily:
After David Ortiz’ homer, it was mostly the backups that did the work. Sparked by a one-out single from J.D. Drew in the sixth, the Sox strung together some hits, capping the rally with a two-run single from Drew Sutton.
One inning later, it was Ryan Kalish providing the one-out single, and Josh Reddick quickly taking a 7-6 lead by launching a Jim Hoey offering over the wall in left field. Still, with two men in scoring position in the ninth, it took a leaping grab on a line drive by Jose Iglesias to save the Red Sox from a blown save courtesy of Matt Albers.
To read more on Monday’s game and follow the Sox throughout spring training, visit Over The Monster.