Final: Red Sox 9, Marlins 2
The Red Sox had 16 hits, five for extra bases as John Lackey beat Josh Johnson.
Top of the 9th: Red Sox 9, Marlins 2
Blake Maxwell in to try and close it out. Back later with updates from the clubhouse.
Middle of the 8th: Red Sox 9, Marlins 2
The Marlins scored an unearned run in the last inning. Have to admit, I have no idea what happened. Now some beered-up guys near the press box are singing “Sweet Caroline” at the top of their lungs.
Release the dogs, Smithers.
Middle of the 7th: Red Sox 9, Marlins 1
Jenks worked around a two-out walk. Quite a day for the Sox.
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 9, Marlins 1
The Sox sent nine men to the plate in the sixth and scored three times. Daniel Nava and Paul Hoover had sac flies. Bobby Jenks in now.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 6, Marlins 1
Lackey went 4.1 innings, throwing 75 pitches. He allowed one run on six hits. Ortiz doubled to start the fifth. Pinch runner Daniel Nava scored on Mike Cameron’s sac fly.
Sox have subbed out all their starters.
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 5, Marlins 1
Ellsbury homered to right. He’s 3 for 3 with two doubles and a homer and three runs scored. Pedroia (3 for 3) followed with a single. Johnson left after 3.2 innings. He allowed five runs, all earned, on nine hits.
Just back from the clubhouse, where Adrian Gonzalez met with reporters for eight minutes.
“It felt great,” he said. “It was a good day out there. Guys got on base, Ells started it all with that double, which was great. Gets that hitting mentality going a little bit more. Pedroia driving him in. You get that momentum going, which is great. It was really good to be out there.”
“I’m on schedule. We never set a schedule to be ahead or behind. You just take it a day at time and when you’re ready, you’re ready. I’ve been saying this all along, that I don’t like to get ahead of myself. I’m never going to say I’m ahead or behind schedule. I’m just on schedule. One thing I have said all along is I’ll be ready Opening Day.”
On the process: “It’s gone real well, Shoulder is responding well, Everything is coming aliong. There’s ncks and knacks like everything else, which I would have had even if I was 100 percent. It’s been a great process up until now.”
How anxious was he: “Not necessarily anxious. I’ve been wanting to get in there, but I wasn’t going to get ahead of myself either. When the day came, it was going to come and that day was today. It was exciting going to sleep last night and waking up this morning feeling good, knowing that when I got in here I was going to be able to tell [athletic trainer Mike Reinold]. ‘Hey, I’m feeling good, we can go.’ ”
His second at-bat: “[Johnson] made an effort to throw fastballs inside to me, there. I took the first pitch good, I was a little late on my timing the second one; he throws hard so you’ve got to get it ready. Fouled that one off. Did the same thing with the third one. The fourth one I was able to get my foot down in time to be able to put it in play. You’re trying to hit line drive up the middle.”
Gonzalez said Reinold went to him a few days ago and said if he felt right, he could play today or Monday. “There wasn’t a specific time or day. It felt good today, so kept it easy with two at-bats and see how it feels tomorrow,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez will take tomorrow off and play Monday.
He does not plan to dive for balls until the season. “I’m staying away from anything I could put any stress on it,” he said. “Once the season starts it will be all go.”
On how many ABs he might need in spring training: “It doesn’t matter. If I go up there on Monday and I see a bunch of curveballs and change-ups, that’s only going to speed the process. If I continue to see nothing but fastballs, then I’m going to need more. For me, it’s about being able to see every pitch, react to pitches, make an adjustment in the swing. It’s not about how many at-bats.”
On the difference in his shoulder: “It feels good. In BP the first couple of days, I made a conscious effort to let it go and swing hard to see how it would respond. Because you can’t take it easy then swing hard in a game then you feel something. It responded well. Went to more of a game mentality today and yesterday and made sure to put good swings on the ball.
On last year: “I couldn’t finish. I couldn’t use the normal bat I use because it was too heavy. More than anything it was defensively.”
Gonzalez hopes to get back to his usual bat during the season. He said his plan today at the plate was to look for fastballs.
Middle of the 4th: Red Sox 4, Marlins 1
Ortiz led off the bottom of the third with a double but was stranded. Lackey then worked around two hits.
Lackey this spring: 10 IP, 11 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Middle of the 3rd: Red Sox 4, Marlins 1
Lackey worked out a two-out double by Morrison, who challenged Ellsbury’s arm when he hit what looked like a single to center.
Lackey has thrown 59 pitches. That might be it for him. He’s close, anyway.
Top of the 3rd: Red Sox 4, Marlins 1
The Sox are abusing Josh Johnson. Cameron bunted for a hit before Salty walked. The runners moved over when Scutaro grounded out. Ellsbury then lined a double the other way to left. He has been on fire lately.
Pedroia followed with an infield single. With runners on the corners, Gonzalez lined a 1-2 pitch to center. Wise made a sliding catch as a run scored.
That’s it for Adrian on the day. 1 for 1 with a sac fly.
Middle of the 2nd: Marlins 1, Red Sox 1
Buck singled and went to third on an infield single by Murphy that glanced off the glove of a diving Scutaro. With two outs, Baker lined a single up the middle that got past Lackey.
Top of the 2nd: Red Sox 1, Marlins 0
Ellsbury doubled down the line in right then scored on a single by Pedroia. Up came Gonzalez, who lined the first pitch he saw into left field for a single.
Now that’s impressive, sitting all that time and drilling a single on the first pitch from Josh Johnson.
But with two on and no outs, the Sox failed to score again. Youkilis popped to short, Ortiz flied to center and Drew grounded to second.
Middle of the 1st: Marlins 0, Red Sox 0
John Lackey’s spring success continues. Bonifacio grounded out, Wise fouled out and Morrison struck out. That’s seven scoreless innings for Lackey.
Pre-game: Good afternoon from a sunny Fort Myers. The young lady who just sang the anthem, Noelle Aparte, did a tremendous job. The Sox, by the way, are wearing their home white uniforms.
The game is on NESN and WEEI but we’ll drop updates from time to time. Is there anybody alive out there on a Saturday afternoon? Drop some comments on the blog.