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Clint Hurdle: Red Sox will love Joel Hanrahan

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  February 28, 2013 06:40 PM

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BRADENTON, Fla. New Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan had a 5.00 earned run average for the Pirates last September and walked 10 in nine innings. But Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said its nothing to be concerned with.

We couldnt get save opportunities for him. That complicated things for his mindset and routine. He did everything he could to stay ready. We tried to keep him on some kind of rotation and use him every third day when we could. But we couldnt get the ball to him in the ninth inning with a lead. Hes a guy who needs to throw to stay on line and stay sharp, Hurdle said Thursday.

Hurdle believes Hanrahan will succeed in Boston.

Its a different challenge, different environment. That crowd, all of that, he said. Hes built for it. Hes a good man; hes a tough guy. I would expect good things from him. Hes a very good pitcher with a unique skill set. He did a heck of a job for us.

Also:

John Lackey went two innings in a 16-6 victory against the Pirates. After an eight-pitch first inning, Lackey threw 35 pitches in the second. One was a hanging curveball that minor league free agent Jared Goedert hit for a three-run homer.

My arm felt good and it was a good step in the process. Added a couple of breaking balls today; threw a couple of good ones [and] hung a couple. Good step in the right direction, Lackey said.

Lackey will start throwing cutters in his next bullpen session but may wait another start before using that pitch in a game.

Jackie Bradley Jr. was 3 for 5 with three runs scored. He is 8 of 14 this spring in five games. Almost every at-bat has been a good one for him.

Its becoming a recurring theme as we talk about him on the field, John Farrell said.

Even more than his offense, Farrell and the coaching staff have been impressed with how precise Bradley is in center field with the routes he takes to fly balls.

Hes done an excellent job, Farrell said.

Farrell said earlier in the week that Bradley could contend for a spot on the roster. But the Sox would not promote him unless there was a significant role to play.

Any time youre looking at young player whos still developing, if hes not going to get a minimum of three days a week at the major league level, its probably working against him as he develops into what we would project as an everyday player, Farrell said. We have to temper our enthusiasm with where they are in their career and what their current needs are in their own game.

Jonny Gomes needed three stitches in his left knee after banging into a fence on Wednesday trying to bring back a home run. He is day to day.

The Red Sox had 18 players make at least one plate appearance. All but two reached base by hit or walk and 10 had at least one RBI.

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