SOX LOSE (9:50, END 9, 5-2 TWINS)
Traber escaped his jam without further trouble, but the Red Sox lost their first GFL game.
We learned afterward that Jonathan Papelbon will make his first live appearance of this spring on March 3. See you tomorrow.
TROUBLE FOR TRABER (9:20, BOT 8, 5-2 TWINS)
Traber's first spring outing with the Sox didn't quite follow Ramirez's. The first three Twins that Traber faced reached base, loading 'em for Jeff Christy. Christy bounded a seeing-hit through the left side, scoring two. Still no outs. I fear ugliness looms.
ANDERSON DEBUTS (9:11, MID 8, 3-2 TWINS)
Lars Anderson, in his first at bat in a Red Sox big league uniform, grounded softly to second base. On the previous pitch, he smoked a 3-1 offering down the left field line, the opposite field. The bending ball landed just foul, narrowly turning from a double to a strike. Anderson's grounder was the final out of the eighth.
NICE START FOR RAMIREZ (9:03, END 7, 3-2 TWINS)
Well, he only faced the trio of Alejandro Machado, Matt Macri, and David Winfree, but Ramirez looked quite good in his first bit of action with the Sox. Machado and Winfree struck out, and Macri flied softly to right. It's evident Ramirez has some nice pop on his fastball.
RAMIREZ IN (8:56, MID 7, 3-2 TWINS)
Ramon Ramirez is about to get his first game action as a member of the Red Sox. He's replacing Javier Lopez, who wiggled out of some trouble last inning. They just played "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," by the way. Billy Traber and Dustin Richardson are next.
MORE CHANGES (8:41, MID 6, 3-2 TWINS)
Argenis Diaz, a defensive whiz, comes in for Lowrie (1-2), Chip Ambres takes over in right for Wilkerson (0-2), Zach Daeges takes over in left for Bay (0-3), and Dusty Brown takes over for Bard (0-3, zero passed balls). Bard bounced back to the pitcher for a double play to end the threat last inning.
Javier Lopez is on to pitch as well, replacing Delcarmen. He has already yielded a pair of base runners and recorded one out.
LOWRIE TRIPLES (8:33, TOP 6, 3-2 TWINS)
Lowrie crushed a deep drive to right-center, driving in Wilkerson, who had walked with one out. The Sox are within one, and Bailey, already 2 for 2, just walked to put two men on for Bard.
CHANGES (8:23, MID 5, 3-1 TWINS)
Josh Reddick replaces Ellsbury (0-3) in center, Paul McAnulty replaces Youkilis (1-3) at first, and Ivan Ochoa replaces Pedroia (2-3) at second. Also, Delcarmen is in for Masterson, who allowed a hit, a walk, and no runs in his two innings.
Programming note: Updates will come less frequently, given the increasing obscurity of the principles involved. But there will be more, so hang tight.
MASTERSON SHARP (8:12, END 4, 3-1 TWINS)
Masterson cruised through his second and final inning, inducing three straight grounders. Manny Delcarmen is scheduled to come up next, and he's throwing now in the bullpen.
SOX ON THE BOARD (8:05, TOP 4, 3-1 TWINS)
Kevin Youkilis singled to the opposite field to lead off the inning, drawing the first "Yooouuuk" chants of 2009. He eventually advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Bay and Wilkerson each flied out to the outfield (although Wilkerson drilled one to right). Lowrie walked to put two on with two outs. Bailey nailed a liner to left-center, scoring Youkilis and sending Lowrie to third. Bard grounded out to end the inning. Masterson is still in the game.
NO PROBLEMS FOR MASTERSON (7:54, END 3, 3-0 TWINS)
Masterson walked Kubel to lead off the inning, then followed by inducing a grounder from Delmon Young, which Jed Lowrie smoothly turned into a double play. Brian Buscher doubled, but Redmond tapped the ball in front of the plate, a ball that Bard handled and fired to first.
Joe Nathan is in for Perkins.
SOX GO DOWN IN ORDER (7:44, MID 3, 3-0 TWINS)
Gil Velazquez grounded out. Ellsbury smashed a line drive, but it zipped straight at Morneau at first. Pedroia popped to the infield.
Justin Masterson is replacing Wakefield. His final line: two innings, five hits, three runs (two earned), two walks.
ROUGH START FOR WAKEFIELD (7:39, END 2, 3-0 TWINS)
Wakefield got out of the inning without any more damage, allowing a walk to Morneau sandwiched between a fly to left by Nick Punton and a grounder to Pedroia by Cuddyer. Wakefield gave up two earned runs (and one unearned) on five hits and two walks. Part of that owed to bad luck -- some bloop hits and and a little spring trainingish fielding.
TWINS ON THE BOARD (7:31, BOT 2, 3-0 TWINS)
With Delmon Young on third and Brian Buscher on first after a pair of singles, Mike Redmond blooped to shallow right. Wilkerson charged, forcing Young to pause. Even though the ball landed, Wilkerson had a shot at Young, like a sac fly. But his throw got away from Bard, allowing Young to score and Buscher and Redmond to move up to second and third. Wilkerson was charged with an error.
After an RBI groundout by Jason Pirdie, Alexi Castilla blooped to right, scoring Redmond. With one out, the Twins lead 3-0. And Castilla just stole second easily; Bard made a nice play to even make it remotely close.
QUIET SECOND FOR SOX (7:23, MID 2, 0-0)
Jeff Bailey singled to right with two outs, but Brad Wilkerson (strikeout), Jed Lowrie (fly to center), and Bard (infield pop up) all went down.
WAKEFIELD ROLLS, BARD SURVIVES (7:17, END 1, 0-0)
Wakefield allowed a two-double to Justin Morneau and a walk to Cuddyer, but he got out of it with a Jason Kubel pop to the infield.
The more interesting development: Bard didn't catch a couple knucklers, but they were in the dirt and no one was on base when they came,anyway. One knuckleball popped out of his glove, but it fell harmlessly to his right and Morneau, then on second, did not advance. Overall, not a shining start, but there no shame at all in Bard's spring 2009 defensive debut. And it was a grossly small sample, so no judgment yet, right?
PEDROIA STRANDED (7:09, MID 1, 0-0)
Jason Bay's sinking liner was snared by Michael Cuddyer in right, leaving Pedroia on base. Here comes Tim Wakefield and Josh Bard. Hopefully for both, there will be no need for jokes involving the term "steel-reinforced backstop."
AT STAKE: THE MAYOR'S CUP (7:06, TOP 1, 0-0)
The Red Sox are beginning their Grapefruit League schedule here tonight. The game is on NESN, if you're wondering. The Sox are wearing their blue tops and gray pants, Twins are in all white.
Progamming note: We're not doing a live chat tonight, but we will be keeping you updated tonight with a running thread. (We will re-visit the live-chat experiment at a a later date.)
Also, some good news for fans here tonight and angioplasticians all over Southwest Florida: They are now serving hush puppies at Hammond Stadium.
Jacoby Ellsbury flew out to begin, by the way, and then Dustin Pedroia followed with a double to the gap in left. That looked familiar. Kevin Youkilis flied to right. Pitching for Minnesota: Glen Perkins.