SCORE: Twins 2, Red Sox 0
BREAKDOWN: Ryan Dempster was cruising along until the third inning when he gave up four consecutive hits with two outs. That gave the Twins two runs and eventually the victory. The Sox were held to four hits. Jacoby Ellsbury, Ryan Sweeney and Jonny Gomes each had singles and Christian Vazquez a double off the wall in left.
THUMBS UP: Vazquez, a 22-year-old catcher, threw out Trevor Plouffe trying to steal second base in the sixth inning. It was the third runner Vazquez has caught this spring. In an organization well stocked with catching prospects, his defensive skills have stood out. … Sweeney, who is trying to make the team as a non-roster player, got on base twice.
THUMBS DOWN: The Red Sox were 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. They loaded the bases with one out in the first inning against Mike Pelfrey but Daniel Nava struck out and Will Middlebrooks flied deep to right field. … Lyle Overbay was 0 for 2 with two strikeouts and a walk. He is hitting .158 so far.
MEDICAL REPORT: Franklin Morales (lower back) felt fine playing catching on Thursday but wasn’t sure when he would be able to throw off the mound. … Middlebrooks returned to the lineup a day after being laid up with the flu. We’ll spare you the details. He was 0 for 3 but hit the ball hard twice.
AROUND THE BASES: Dempster threw 66 pitches, 43 for strikes. He has not issued a walk in 8.2 innings this spring. “I feel really good,” Dempster said when asked about his pinpoint command so far. “That just comes with trying to repeat it as much as I can on the side and obviously in the game. I feel like when I’m behind in the count I can make a pitch where I want to throw it,” he said. … A prankster taped up a life-sized photo of third base coach Brian Butterfield on a wall displaying artwork of team legends. … The game drew 9,529, a sellout.
NEXT GAME: Saturday at 7:05 p.m. against Baltimore at JetBlue Park. The Sox are scheduled to start Felix Doubront against top Orioles prospect Dylan Bundy. NESN and WEEI will carry the game.