FORT MYERS, Fla. — Good afternoon from JetBlue Park, where the rampaging Blue Jays (they’re an unconscious 21-4-1) will face the Red Sox.
Alfredo Aceves is getting the start as Felix Doubront toils in a minor league game. All signs point to Aceves headed back to the bullpen. At some point in the coming days they’ll strap him to a gurney like Dr. Hannibal Lecter and Bobby Valentine will give him the bad news before running for his life.
Aceves has allowed 10 earned runs on 13 hits in his last seven innings. Nine of the runs came in one game against the Phillies.
Hang out here for the updates. Be advised that we’ll have to head down to the clubhouse at some point during the game, so there could be some gaps. That’s how it works in spring training.
Top of the 2nd: Jays 0, Sox 0: Aceves had a swift inning as Gose and David flied out and Thames struck out looking. Not exactly a varsity lineup for the Jays.
The Sox went in order against Hutchison.
Top of the 3rd: Sox 1, Jays 0: Aceves allowed a single by Gomes. But after Valbuena popped up, Mathis grounded into a double play. Gomes slid into Pedroia, causing him to bounce his throw to first. But Gonzalez dug it out.
In the bottom of the inning, McDonald walked with two outs, stole second and scored on a double by Sweeney. Shoppach then lined to second.
Middle of the 3rd: Sox 1, Jays 0: Nanita led off with a single. With two outs, Gose hit a ball hard in the hole. Aviles dove to his right, made the stop and threw from his knees to second base for the force to end the inning.
Top of the 4th: Sox 1, Jays 0: Aviles flied to right, Davis making a nice tumbling catch. Ellsbury grounded out. Pedroia singled and went to third on a double by Gonzalez. Youkilis was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ortiz worked a good at-bat before grounding to second.
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 1, Jays 0: Aceves worked out of a jam in the top of the fourth. Davis walked before Thames reached on an error by Pedroia. Gomes then rapped into a smartly executed 5-4-3 double play. Valbuena struck out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the inning, Shoppach singled with one out. Aviles then flied to the base of the wall in dead center.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 1, Jays 0: Aceves retired the Jays in order. He has allowed two hits. The Sox went in order against a new pitcher, Luis Perez.
Middle of the 6th: Jays 2, Red Sox 1: Ugly inning there. Gose reached on an error by Youkilis with one out. He stole second and went to third when Shoppach’s throw sailed into center. Davis then walked and stole second. Thames followed with a two-run single to right. Gomes popped to right before Thames was thrown out stealing.
The Blue Jays are intent on running on the Red Sox, aren’t they? They were 25 of 33 last year. Only the Rays (26 of 30) had more steals.
Felix Doubront update: In a High-A game against Twins prospects: 6 IP (21 batters), 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 84 pitches, 62 strikes. That was just what they planned for. He seems set to be the No. 4 starter.
Top of the 7th: Jays 2, Red Sox 2: Ortiz homered to left with one out. McDonald walked before Sweeney bounced into a 6-4-3 double play.
Aceves is done. His line: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 87 pitches, 54 strikes.
Headed down to the clubhouse. Back in a bit.
Middle of the 8th: Jays 3, Red Sox 2: Gose walked to lead off the 8th then stole second, third and home. He was a third of the way down the line when Salty tossed the ball back to Thomas and took off. By the time Thomas threw the ball back, Gose had the steal. Pretty embarrassing.
Here’s the thing, though. Why do that in spring training? Now it’ll be almost impossible to do during the season.
Middle of the 9th: Jays 3, Red Sox 2: Sox down to their last ups. They’ll face former Red Sox hurler Robert Coello. Wilkerson, Salty and Spears coming up.
Game over: Jays 3, Red Sox 2: Salty doubled with one out. Spears fanned. Repko had a chance to extend the game and struck out swinging. Toronto is 22-4-1 and has won 10 straight. Impressive, even for spring training.
Sox fall to 12-11-3. The game was played before a sellout crowd of 9,712 at JetBlue Park in 2 hours and 54 minutes.