SCORE: Red Sox 6, Rays 2.
BREAKDOWN: That’s two in a row for the Red Sox, who got three strong innings from Jon Lester in his spring debut and home runs from David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Corey Brown. Will Middlebrooks was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. The Sox had what could be their Opening Day lineup on the field. “It’s good to see the flow of the game unfold as it did today,” manager John Farrell said.
THUMBS UP: Lester allowed one hit (a broken-bat looper) and had one walk. He had four strikeouts and threw 31 of his 43 pitches for strikes. Anthony Ranaudo worked two scoreless innings.
THUMBS DOWN: Non-roster lefthander Jose Mijares allowed a run on two hits and walk in the ninth inning. He has a 2.75 WHIP in four outings this spring.
VICTORINO RETURNS: Right fielder Shane Victorino played his first game of the spring. He had two plate appearances and played three innings in the field. Victorino was held back to recover from offseason thumb surgery and to do extra work strengthening groin muscles that were problematic last season.
“My hand feels good. In [batting practice] everything feels good,” Victorino said.
Victorino, a switch hitter, batted righthanded facing righthanded pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Steve Geltz. He was hit by a pitch his first time up then struck out looking the second time.
Victorino gave up switch hitting last August because of injuries and seems to be sticking to batting exclusively righthanded. Farrell suggested on Saturday that would be the case and Victorino’s actions on Monday seemed to confirm it.
But he again balked at discussing the situation.
“There’s no decision. If I had an answer I would have told you,” Victorino said. “We’re all working through the process.”
Victorino later acknowledged he is likely to hit righthanded only. “Obviously that’s the way I’m leaning,” he said. “It seems to make sense.”
SIZEMORE ON THE MOVE: Grady Sizemore singled on a full-count pitch in the first inning. With Dustin Pedroia at the plate, Sizemore broke for second base. Pedroia grounded to third base and Sizemore was safe. It was the first time this spring he was put in motion. Sizemore was 1 for 3 with that single and two fly balls to center field. He played five innings in the field. He is scheduled to play on Tuesday against Miami at JetBlue Park.
AROUND THE BASES: Jonny Gomes smacked into the padded wall along the left field line chasing a ball in the ninth inning. He banged his left knee but stayed in the game. … The game drew a sellout of 9,876. The Sox have averaged 9,739 for six home games. …Author Ben Bradley Jr. threw out the first pitch. He wrote “The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams.”
NEXT GAME: The Red Sox play a split-squad doubleheader on Tuesday. One team will play at 1:05 p.m. game against the Orioles in Sarasota. Another team will play the Marlins at Fort Myers at 1:05 p.m. Brandon Workman will start against the Orioles and John Lackey against the Marlins.