TAMPA, Fla. — Four Red Sox pitchers — Felix Doubront, Michael Bowden, Vicente Padilla and Junichi Tazawa — allowed four hits in a 1-0 victory against the Yankees.
They walked one and struck out 13.
Doubront needed 75 pitches to get through four innings but he was effective, allowing two singles with one walk and three strikeouts. Brett Gardner, Russell Martin, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Raul Ibanez were 2 for 8 against Doubront.
“I feel very good today. I showed what I got. I showed (Bobby) Valentine and the pitching coach that I’ve got something,” Doubront said.
Said Valentine: “I thought Felix was outstanding. He had really good control of his changeup, that’s a devastating pitch for him. Good control and command of his fastball, his breaking ball was good.”
Michael Bowden, stepping up in competition, allowed a single by Andruw Jones before striking out the side. He has thrown 5.2 scoreless innings this spring, allowing one hit and striking out eight.
“I think it’s more of a comfort thing. I feel very comfortable with the players, my teammates and the staff,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to go out there and play and pitch your game when you have that sense of comfort.”
Bowden is clearly feeling a sense of encouragement from Valentine and Bob McClure that he didn’t get in the past. Perhaps this season is the year he emerges after a long stint in the organization and a lot of false starts.
“I thought Michael worked the runner as well as I’ve ever seen him do it on film. He’s been practicing his stretch and varying his speeds,” Valentine said. “With a very veteran runner on base, Andruw Jones, he really broke his tempo. I think he was trying to steal and he never could. I thought that was good. I thought his stuff down in the zone was good.”
Padilla has thrown seven innings in three games. Valentine said there are no plans to give him a start, which could indicate Padilla is not in the mix for a rotation spot.
“Padilla made it look easy, didn’t he?” Valentine said. “There’s probably a change in the lineup that made it [easier]. But I think he does that. He can throw a lot of pitches that get off the head of the bat. He’s a strike thrower, probably the best strike-thrower we have.”
Pedro Ciriaco singled in his one at-bat and scored the winning run. He is 7 for 12 this spring.
Ciriaco is a 26-year-old infielder who played 31 games for the Pirates from 2010-11, hitting .333/.350/.513 in 40 plate appearances. He spent most of last season with Triple-A Indianapolis, hitting a wretched .231/.243/.300.
The Sox signed him as a minor-league free agent and Ciriaco has looked good so far. And he run, too, stealing 156 bases in the minors.