Just returned from the Red Sox clubhouse, where the Sox gathered their belongings and scurried out after a 3-1 win that included a solo home run from Jacoby Ellsbury in the eighth inning and featured a two-inning save from Manny Delcarmen.
Official time of game was 2 hours 25 minutes.
Sox starter Jon Lester overall was pleased with what will effectively serve as his last real start of spring training. Manager Terry Francona said before the game that the Sox will back off Lester some in his next turn, shortening the outing to give him a breather before his scheduled April 8 outing against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park.
“I felt a lot better than my last start,’’ Lester said. “We made some adjustments in between starts and I think I carried ’em over.’’
Lester indicated that most of those adjustments involved his “tempo,’’ though he threw an estimated 10-15 changeups, a pitch he is trying to refine and add to his repertoire. The results generally were good.
While the Sox’ bus returned to Fort Myers immediately after the game, manager Terry Francona and pitching coach John Farrell carpooled to the Orlando area, where the Sox will face the Braves tomorrow. The Sox are bringing an entirely new contingent to the Atlanta game so that no players will be worn out by the long bus ride from Fort Myers.
Francona’s quote of the day involved outfielder J.D. Drew, who continues to be booed by Phillies fans who harbor ill will from Drew’s holdout as a Phillies draftee in 1997. Francona, of course, was the Phils manager at the time and, by the end of 2000, a similar target of fans.
“I think the best move I made all day was to bring J.D. so they booed him instead of me,’’ Francona cracked.