FORT MYERS, Fla. — Good afternoon for the last time this spring from JetBlue Park. The Sox will host the Washington Nationals.
It’ll be Aaron Cook and a bunch of relievers against Jordan Zimmerman.
So hang out and we’ll have inning-by-inning updates for you.
Top of the 2d: Nationals 0, Red Sox 0: Roger Bernardina reached on an error by Adrian Gonzalez. He then took second when a pickoff throw from Cook struck him in the leg and ricocheted away. Bernardina left the game and Brett Carroll replaced him.
Cook worked out of the jam. Desmond lined to center, Espinosa struck out and LaRoche grounded to shortstop.
Ellsbury hit a ball soaring toward the triangle that looked like a triple. But Carroll ran it down at the corner of the bullpen. Pedroia popped to right. Gonzalez singled before Ortiz flied to center.
Ortiz and Youk flipped in the order.
Top of the 3d: Nationals 0, Red Sox 0: Cook worked around a one-out single by Tracy. Youkilis singled for the Red Sox but that was it.
Top of the 4th: Nationals 0, Red Sox 0: Three up, three down for each team.
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 3, Nationals 1: Espinosa homered off Cook. LaRoche then walked before Cook used his sinker to get a 6-4-3 DP. Tracy then grounded to third. Twelve outs for Cook and eight have come on the ground.
Gonzalez singled for the Sox and went to third on a double off the wall by Ortiz. Youkilis grounded to second to drive in a run and send Ortiz to third. McDonald then singled to left for the RBI. Sweeney followed with a perfect hit-and-run single through the vacated shortstop hole. Aviles popped up but the catcher, Flores, dropped the ball. Big mistake as Aviles then hit a fly ball to right to score McDonald.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 3, Nationals 1: Cook retired the side in order in his final inning. Great outing for him: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 11 groundball outs. He threw 70 pitches, 43 strikes.
Cook is headed to Pawtucket to start the season. But given his performance and apparent good health, he may not be there long. He has a May 1 opt-out.
The Sox have subbed out a bunch of their starters. Padilla is now pitching.
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 4, Nationals 1: Nate Spears had a double to right before Jason Repko had an RBI double off the wall.
The Sox are now using a bunch of extended spring training kids, having subbed out all their starters. But Salty is in to catch Melancon this inning.
Top of the 8th: Red Sox 4, Nationals 1: Scoreless inning for Melancon. Albers will pitch the eighth inning.
Top of the 9th: Red Sox 4, Nationals 2: Albers allowed a run in the eighth. Now Franklin Morales will try and close it out. The Sox have allowed five hits.
Game over: Red Sox 4, Nationals 2: The Sox break camp with a victory and improve to 15-11-4 with a game against the Nationals in D.C. Tuesday afternoon.
If you’re a believer in momentum, the Sox are 5-1-1 in their last seven games.