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Farrell: 'We can do better defensively'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  March 8, 2014 11:05 PM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Were this the regular season, Red Sox manager John Farrell would have convened a team meeting and aired out the players a bit.

The Sox allowed 20 runs and committed eight errors in Saturday's doubleheader debacle against the Orioles. They were out-hit 26-9 and were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. The second game was a 13-2 embarrassment that featured six errors.

Daniel Nava, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, A.J. Pierzynski, Jonny Gomes, and Xander Bogaerts were 0 for 16.

The Sox are now 2-7-1 after 10 games and have been outscored by 31 runs. Yikes.

But a team meeting is pretty useless at this stage of spring training. Players usually go home after they come out of games and there are still 33 players in camp who will be cut before Opening Day. How a team looks in early March isn't much of a read on how they will play in April.

But Farrell isn't happy about the defense.

"Long day, we got our reps in. We can do much better defensively, there's no question about it," he said.

"I can't say that there's a common thread. You're looking at guys who have played the positions that they're at, particularly in tonight's game where things got away from us defensively. And yet we're working each day to shore the infield defense up."

A few other notes from today:

• Lefthander Henry Owens, who is 21, faced a strong Baltimore lineup in Game 1 and allowed three runs on five hits and two walks over 2.1 innings.

"Obviously the results weren’t what I wanted them to be,” Owens said. “But I thought it was cool. That was my first opportunity to face some consistent big leaguers in a lineup. I thought it was a lot of fun.”

Owens has given up four runs in 4.1 innings in spring training. Against the Orioles, Owens was working on his curveball and the left some pitches up that were hit hard.

“Trying to refine it and drop it in there for strikes,” said Owens, who is one of the top pitching prospects in the organization. “The best way to start succeeding is you’ve got to fail first. Obviously today was a good learning point for me.”

• Kudos to Christian Vazquez. With two outs and his team down, 13-0, in the bottom of the ninth inning, Vazquez worked the count against Orioles reliever Troy Patton before crushing a two-run homer to left field.

That says a lot about Vazquez's improvement offensively and his perseverance. He may have been the only person in the ballpark who wanted that game to continue.

Long day, thanks for reading. Come back for more tomorrow.

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