FORT MYERS, Fla – Bobby Valentine had a lot to like following a 10-2 Red Sox win over the Twins tonight.
On Clay Buchholz, who returned to the mound after a nine-month layoff with back issues, “Like seeing him in the competitive mode he was in. He’s a fiery competitor. His pitches were good. He didn’t pitch that well with them, but I think he’s going to be a welcome addition to this staff.”
On Vicente Padilla, who got out of bases loaded jam in his second inning of relief of Buchholz: “He moves the ball back and forth and up and down and obviously knows what he’s doing on the mound. He hit a few bats at the end of the handle and they blooped them in. He can help us too if he stays healthy.”
Padilla threw a 53 m.p.h. eephus pitch and Valentine commented, “It’s quite the contrast (from his 93 m.p.h. fastball). He says it’s a little slower and a little faster on both ends.”
Valentine said he has spoken quite a bit to Padilla’s Dodgers coach, Rick Honeycutt, and bench coach Trey Hillman about Padilla, but doesn’t have a good handle on him yet.
On David Ortiz’ home run, double and first base play: “I loved him. He swung the bat extremely well. He swung at the first pitch, fouled it off and then hit the ball hard, caught a pop-up and then stretched and made the play at first base,” Valentine said.
Valentine also enjoyed watching a first-inning double play turned by Jose Iglesias on a nice stop of Joe Mauer’s hard hit grounder by Nick Punto. Punto made a nice throw to second and Iglesias showed fast hands and made a strong throw to first to turn it.
“The double play was very well executed play on both sides,” Valentine said. “Iglesias is learning that he needs to be the sure man so the guy at second can be the quick man, That throw was sure. It wasn’t really flashy or fast, but he made a chest high throw.”
- Catcher Daniel Butler hit a three-run homer.
- Third baseman Will Middlebrooks had two hits and knocked in a run.
- Will Inman allowed both Twins runs when he surrendered four straight singles in the fifth.
- Iglesias had a hit, a walk and a stolen base. He also struck out.
- Brandon Duckworth pitched two rocking chair innings.