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Red Sox fall to Pirates

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  March 19, 2010 04:25 PM

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The Sox dropped their fifth straight exhibition game today, 9-7 against the Pirates. There were 27 hits, 14 for extra bases including five home runs. If the Pirates played here all season somebody would hit .400.

David Ortiz was 2 for 3 with a homer. Jeremy Hermida hit his first homer and Josh Reddick was 2 for 4 and is up to .438.

What you can take out this game is that Josh Beckett threw 69 pitches over 3.1 innings and basically caught up in terms of building arm strength after missing his last start because of the bug. He looked gassed standing in the locker room.

A local reporter, not knowing that Beckett disdains all contract talk, asked him how negotiations were going on an extension. After the obligatory "Where are you from?" question, Beckett said he was leaving that in the hands of his agent. But as the Globe reported earlier this month, negotiations are going smoothly and indications are that a deal could be struck before the season.

Terry Francona said he thought Bill Hall "moved his feet well" at shortstop and little by little, Hall seems to be showing them he can handle the position if needed. That said, it would not be a surprise if the Sox went out and signed somebody. The loss of Gil Velazquez to a fractured thumb and the continuing issues of Jed Lowrie have depleted the depth chart.

No, they're not bringing Jose Iglesias back. He need to stay where he is, continue to learn and work his way up.

Meanwhile, back in Fort Myers, Daisuke Matsuzaka threw 44 pitches in the bullpen.

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