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Wrapping up the day in Fort Myers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  February 28, 2011 04:56 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. A few notes from today's game:

Terry Francona on Daisuke Matsuzaka: "Very good velocity. That was exciting to see that, especially early on. Very aggressive with his fastball. Had some good life to it. I was excited about that."

Francona seemed even more pleased with what he saw from Andrew Miller, who threw seven pitches, all strikes, in the sixth inning. "Exciting. That was really fun to watch. That was about as good an inning as you're ever going to see," he said. "That was exciting to watch."

Here's how that inning went:

Repko: strikeout swinging
Revere: strikeout looking
Dozier: grounds to short on the first pitch.

Miller is the former first-round pick in camp on a minor-league deal. The Sox are hoping they can turn his career around.

"That felt great," he said. "There's a reason I came to his organization and just being here a few weeks, I know I made the right decision. Being with a new team, having an inning like that is nice."

The Sox aren't sure whether Miller will be stretched out this spring. They would like to see some two-inning stretches.

Francona on David Ortiz's mammoth homer: "We need guys to build into it. I was excited because he kept that ball fair. He kept his hands in and didn't hook it foul. It was a pretty swing."

Jacoby Ellsbury took a tumble chasing a double in the third inning. But his once-fractured ribs never entered his mind. "Didn't think twice about it," Ellsbury said.

We also spoke to Carl Crawford, who was 0 for 3 in his spring debut. "It felt good just to put on the uniform and finally get out there on the field and play a game," he said. "Little nervous at first but I was happy to get that out the way."

Crawford said his transition has been easy. "Pretty much everything you need they take care of here," he said.

For the fans and media, seeing Crawford in the outfield with Jacoby Ellsbury and J.D. Drew has significance. But for a veteran player getting ready for the season, it's not a big deal. Crawford is focusing on April 1.

"Just playing baseball again," he said. "It was no big difference."

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