SCORE: Red Sox 7, Twins 3
BREAKDOWN: The Sox beat up on Twins starter Mike Pelfrey, scoring five runs on six hits and three walks in the first two innings. Mike Napoli had an RBI single in the first inning and Will Middlebrooks a three-run double in the second. Ryan Dempster allowed one run over four innings. Jacoby Ellsbury was 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, and one RBI.
THUMBS UP: Dempster has had a terrific spring. In four starts he has allowed three earned runs over 12.2 innings. The righthander has walked two and struck out nine. Dempster threw 73 pitches. “He used all his pitches. Last time out he pitched primarily with his fastball, which was by design,” manager John Farrell said. “But today he took the whole repertoire to the mound.”
THUMBS DOWN: David Ross was 0 for 2 with a walk and is now 1 for 14 with six strikeouts this spring. Ross has been spending extra time working with the pitchers and said that typically in spring training his bat does not heat up until the final 10 days or so.
MEDICAL REPORT: The Red Sox sent lefthanded reliever Franklin Morales back to Boston to have his sore lower back examined. “He has been undergoing treatment here. He hasn’t really made the progress that we had hoped for. So we had him checked,” Farrell said. Morales has thrown only one inning and seems sure to start the season on the disabled list. … Dustin Pedroia played despite a head cold. He was 0 for 3 with a walk and probably should have stayed in bed.
AROUND THE BASES: Koji Uehara loaded the bases in the fifth inning and worked out of the jam by getting the dangerous Justin Morneau to pop up. The runners were the first he has allowed this spring. “Blame the mound,” he joked. … Closer Joel Hanrahan returned to the team following the birth of his first child in Boston earlier this week. He threw a bullpen session on Thursday and is scheduled to pitch an inning on Saturday. … Jackie Bradley Jr. showed off his arm in the eighth inning. With the bases loaded, he caught a fly ball and made a strong throw to third, nearly catching Jeff Clement, who had bluffed toward home after tagging up.
NEXT GAME: The Red Sox have a split-squad doubleheader on Friday. One team will go to Sarasota to face the Orioles at 1:05 p.m. Clayton Mortensen will start that game. The Sox host the Twins at 7:05 p.m. with Felix Doubront on the mound. That game will be on NESN and WEEI.