FORT MYERS, Fla. — Mike Lowell made his spring training debut for the Boston Red Sox — at an unfamiliar position.
Lowell, who had surgery Dec. 30 to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb, played first base Monday in an 8-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. It was his first appearance at the position since 1998, when he played four games there for the New York Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate.
Boston’s offseason acquisition of third baseman Adrian Beltre will limit Lowell’s time at the position he had manned for the Red Sox since 2006.
Lowell batted second and went 1 for 2 with a single to right in his first at-bat.
“It was nice to get him in there,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “Obviously, we’re not going to hit him second. But it was good to get him a couple at-bats. He got to run the bases. Got to play a little first base. Just hasn’t been in a game for a little while. We’ll try to do the same thing (Tuesday) night. As long as he wakes up and feels OK, kind of do the same thing. Get him a couple more at-bats and kind of get him back going in there.”
Luke Scott went 2 for 3 with four RBIs, including a three-run homer, for the Orioles.
Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield took the loss, allowing five runs and nine hits in 3ª innings.
Brad Bergesen tossed 2ª innings for Baltimore, giving up two runs and five hits, including a two-run homer to David Ortiz.
“Actually, a lot better than the first outing, as far as mechanics go,” Bergesen said. “I felt much more smooth and that much more like myself. That was the positive. The negative was really the one pitch to Ortiz. That was really it.”
It was Ortiz’s first home run of the spring.
“I fell behind him and so he knew he was going to get a good pitch,” Bergesen said. “I ended up hanging a slider right in his sweet spot.
“I still don’t feel quite where I need to be, but it’s good that it is spring training right now and I am able to get about three more outings before the season starts.”
Wakefield hit two batters with pitches but did not walk anyone.
“Physically, I felt great,” he said. “I was able to get up and down four times without a problem. Obviously, the results weren’t what I wanted them to be. But it’s spring training. I was able to work out of the stretch a bunch, which I needed to do, and wanted to make some quality pitches when I needed to.”
NOTES: Red Sox RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka had his first batting practice session of the spring postponed again. Matsuzaka had been scheduled to throw live BP on Saturday, but was scratched with a sore neck. It had been rescheduled for Monday morning, but instead he threw 19 pitches in the bullpen. The BP session was tentatively rescheduled for Wednesday morning. … Francona said infielder Jed Lowrie, who was put through a battery of tests, including a stress test, related to a lingering illness “came through everything fine.” Francona said Lowrie was cleared to resume some activity. “Hopefully, what ends up happening is he was just sick and didn’t tolerate it real well,” Francona said. “I don’t think you can be too careful. I understand why the doctors want to do what they did.” … The Orioles optioned pitchers Brandon Erbe and Troy Patton to Triple-A Norfolk, and Luis Lebron and Chorye Spoone to Double-A Bowie. Pitchers Armando Gabino, Chris George and Mike Hinckley were assigned to minor league camp. … C Michel Hernandez was diagnosed with a broken right index finger and will miss the next four to six weeks. Hernandez was vying for the backup job behind Matt Wieters.