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Spring things: A tale of three losses

Page 2 of 4 -- After the next batter nearly hit the next pitch out, one Sox fan yelled "thanks for not hitting it out," while others hurled expletives at the beleaguered pitcher. Gonzalez took matters into his own hands by plunking the ever-dangerous (wink) catcher Guillermo Quiroz to back the Jays off the plate. Then another base hit by Jason Alfaro had the Sox faithful screaming "way to go Gonzalez" as the disastrous seventh was extended.

In three spring training outings with the Sox, Gonzalez has a 7.50 ERA.

  • Little second baseman Dustin Pedroia made his debut in the eighth and turned a nifty double play in the field. He's listed as 5-foot-8, but if he's five feet tall, he's a giant.

  • Knology Park, where the Jays play in Dunedin, has a nice feel to it. Most of the seats are out in the sun, the aisles are narrow. It has no frills, no high tech-Knology, but it feels like spring training compared to City of Palms, which with all the corporate influence and heavy-handed ushers, feels like Fenway South.

  • Note to TorontoBlueJays.com. Exit 15 off 275 has apparently been re-named Exit 28 for quite some time. You can get to Dunedin from lovely Tampa, going 20 miles and 45 minutes out of your way of course. Thanks for keeping the site current.

    Saturday: Bullpen blows it against Rays

  • Davis Wells, battling the flu, made a mediocre debut in Ft. Myers. He looked sharp in the field, snagging a hard-hit ball in the first, but got hit fairly hard in two innings of work (his line: two innings, two runs -- one earned, four hits, no walks, no strikeouts). Thankfully, the probable opening night starter was just getting stretched out.

  • Right after Bill Mueller made a nice grab for his first fielding play of the spring, he got tied up on a routine grounder, which put the Rays up 2-0. He bounced back at the plate, however, by getting his first base hit of the spring. If Mueller is not ready to go, or needs a regular breather, Youkilis has been solid at the plate and at third base all spring and is more than capable of handling the hot-corner duties every day.

  • Trot Nixon hit another long ball on Saturday that briefly put the Sox up 2-1 after two. Trot looks like he's on a mission and is playing every game like it's the playoffs. He made a tremendous effort in diving for a ball down the right field line in the fourth, but could not make the play. Trot did, however, make the catch of the day in right-center in the sixth, running a long way before diving to snag the ball before landing on his stomach. The crowd went wild.   Continued...

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