Globe colleague Nick Cafardo was in Kissimmee today for the Red Sox-Astros game and passed along these comments and observations.
Dustin Pedroia was 2 for 3 with a walk, a double, a triple and two RBIs in his first road game and played seven innings, his most this spring. It was the latest sign that his left foot has healed.
"It felt good to stay in the game awhile and play seven innings and get four at-bats. That was good. You feel more involved in the game. That was fun," he said. "I feel normal. I've had a lot of time off. Just used to being out there and playing again."
Pedroia told Nick there was nothing left to prove and that Terry Francona plans to use him for a full game soon.
"Whatever Tito tells me to do. I feel great," Pedroia said "Whatever he tells me to do, I'll do it."
The Sox also really like what they've seen from Matt Albers, who struck out one in his one inning. He is out of minor league options, which could lead to his making the roster for Opening Day.
"He's been excellent. He has so much life on his ball in the zone on the two-seamer. We like him," Francona said.
The manager also had these comments:
On Rich Hill (one scoreless inning): Rich was a little bit better today which was good."
Hill has been pitching sidearm in camp but is now working on bringing back that over-the-top big curveball he once threw so well. He gave up a hit on the pitch but also got a groundout.
"He's experimenting a little bit throwing the breaking ball up top," Francona said. "That's been the one he's left up. I've seen it four times now, but it's something he wants to keep in his arsenal but he's going to have to command it."
Francona also praised the work of Dan Wheeler (1.1 IP, 1 H), Dennys Reyes (1 IP, 1 K) and Michael Bowden (2 IP, 2 K).