Fort Myers, FL, United States (4E Sports) – David Ortiz and Mike Napoli homered while Jon Lester pitched three strong innings to carry the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox to a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays Monday at JetBlue Park.
Ortiz’s first home run of Spring Training came against Jake Odorizzi, who is competing to be Tampa Bay’s fifth starter, while Napoli homered against Erik Bedard as the Red Sox improved to 4-7.
In his first start of spring, Lester allowed one hit with a walk and four strikeouts to earn the victory. Lefty Chris Capuano also went three innings, giving up four hits and a run on top of two strikeouts.
“I felt good,” said Lester. “It felt good to get the first one out of the way. Kind of what we talked about last week as far as getting used to the surroundings and the fans and the whole routine of a normal work day. It was good. It was a step in the right direction going through spring.”
Grady Sizemore was impressive in his comeback with the Red Sox as he went 1-for-3. Will Middlebrooks chipped in an RBI double and an RBI single while Shane Victorino scored a run while playing three innings in right field in his first game this spring.
Corey Brown, who replaced Sizemore in center, drilled a long solo homer to right-center off Tampa Bay’s Santiago Garrido in the eighth.
Odorizzi was saddled with the loss after giving up two hits and a run over 2 1/3 innings for the Rays, who dropped to 5-3.
Middlebrooks and Ortiz gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead before Longoria put the Rays on the board with a solo shot in the fourth.
In the sixth, Napoli smacked a homer to left-center while A.J. Pierzynski and Middlebrooks drove in a run each to give Boston a 5-1 advantage.