SCORE: Pirates 9, Red Sox 3
BREAKDOWN: Jon Lester allowed one run over four innings despite command issues that led to three walks. But it was a rough day for knuckleballer Steven Wright (2 innings, 5 hits, 3 walks, 5 earned runs) and hard-throwing prospect Rubby De La Rosa (2 innings, 3 hits, 1 walk, 2 earned runs). Tim Wakefield was on hand to see Wright pitch and they spoke afterward about correcting his release point. “I know how to fix what I’m doing wrong,” Wright said. “I need to get better at recognizing it.”
THUMBS UP: Brock Holt started at third base for the first time as a professional and played six innings. He made a diving stop to rob Andrew McCutchen of a hit in the first inning … Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s double in the sixth inning missed clearing the wall by only a few feet.
THUMBS DOWN: Pedro Ciriaco did not handle center field well last season and committed a throwing error in the seventh inning when the Red Sox moved him out there. The Sox would love to make Ciriaco a super utility player but he may be limited to the infield.
MEDICAL REPORT: The flu is hitting the Red Sox. Jacoby Ellsbury was out for a second straight day and non-roster utility player Mark Hamilton was felled, too. Ellsbury could play on Thursday … Lefthanded reliever Franklin Morales is being medicated to try to help his lower-back pain. He is not close to returning to the mound … Righthander Pedro Beato (shoulder) threw in the bullpen.
AROUND THE BASES: Jackie Bradley drew two walks. He has gotten on base 13 times in 23 plate appearances this spring. He also has played 48 innings in the field, the most on the team … Lester is lined up to start the opener on April 1 against the Yankees in New York but John Farrell has yet to officially announce that … Not that it matters much, but David Ross is 0 for 9 so far.
NEXT GAME: Thursday against Minnesota at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers at 1:05 p.m. The Sox will start Clay Buchholz against Kevin Correia.