January 23, 2018
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Beckett struggles in 5th as Red Sox lose

The Associated Press

BRADENTON, Fla. — Josh Beckett was happy with his outing — until the fifth inning.

Beckett failed to record an out in Pittsburgh’s six-run fifth as the Boston Red Sox lost 9-4 to the Pirates on Sunday.

“It’s a shame that a whole outing gets ruined by one inning, but that’s kind of the case,” Beckett said. “I feel like I pitched well in the middle three innings.”

Beckett worked four-plus innings and allowed five runs on four hits, walked two and struck out five. He threw 76 pitches. He faced four batters without getting an out in the fifth. Four of the Pirates’ six runs in the inning were charged to him.

“That’s not how it’s supposed to end, because I was feeling good,” Beckett said.

It was Beckett’s third outing of spring training. On Feb. 28, he had mild concussion symptoms after being struck in the head by a ball during batting practice.

“I think I’ve caught back up completely from the concussion,” Beckett said. “I didn’t feel tired.”

Ronny Cedeno began the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer to left field. Dusty Brown walked, Andy Marte blooped a double and Jose Tabata was hit by a pitch.

Neil Walker lined the first pitch from reliever Scott Atchison into right for a tying single. Pedro Alvarez’s double put the Pirates up, 5-3. Lyle Overbay added a two-run single.

The first hit off Beckett was John Bowker’s two-out, solo home run in the second inning. It was Bowker’s second homer this spring.

Bowker, who is out of minor league options, is trying to make the Pirates’ roster as a reserve outfielder. After being slowed by tendinitis in his wrist early in camp, he has hit safely in six of his past seven games.

“I’m trying to get my timing down again,” Bowker said. “I’m not trying to do too much, just hit line drives.”

Pirates starter Brad Lincoln allowed two runs on two hits in three innings. The right-hander walked two and struck out three.

“He got into a good rhythm at times,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “There were a few times when he rushed and he was missing arm-side out, arm-side up a little bit. He’s working in the right direction, no doubt.”

Mike Cameron’s two-run double in the third inning gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead. Lars Anderson homered, singled and scored two runs. Drew Sutton walked, singled and scored once.

NOTES: Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz and RHP Tim Wakefield will pitch a camp game Monday. They each will pitch in separate split-squad games Friday. … Red Sox LHP Felix Doubront (elbow) threw a bullpen session Sunday.

Saturday’s game
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Adrian Gonzalez finally hit the field for the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, and he made quite the first impression.

Gonzalez hit the first pitch of his first spring game into left field for a single and added a sacrifice fly in the second, helping Boston to a 9-2 victory over the Florida Marlins.

“You’d think that after that long away and coming off an injury, he’d be a little jumpy,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “But he was probably anything but that.”

The Red Sox acquired the big first baseman in a trade with San Diego in December but his spring debut was delayed for rehab on his surgically repaired right shoulder.

“I’ve been wanting to get in there but I wasn’t going to get ahead of myself, either,” Gonzalez said. “So when the day came, it was going to come and that day was (Saturday). It was exciting going to sleep (Friday) night and waking up this morning feeling good.”

Gonzalez said the shoulder is more of a concern on defense than at the plate, which is why he won’t be diving for any balls in spring training.

Marlins ace Josh Johnson had a rough day, allowing five runs and nine hits in 3 2-3 innings. He struck out two and walked one.

“My goal was to go out there and try and throw a lot of changeups, get the hang of it, and I never did,” Johnson said. “(I) couldn’t throw it for a strike. Didn’t really come close to the zone. It’s a work in progress.”

Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez didn’t seem concerned.

“J.J., he was working on pitches,” Rodriguez said. “Mainly that’s what he was doing, and I think he didn’t have command. He was leaving his pitches up in the zone, but it was good to see him there and working on something.”

Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury, who missed much of last season with injured ribs, went 3 for 3 with his first home run of the spring. He also scored three times and drove in three runs.

“He hit that home run, that was a pretty swing,” Francona said. “That ball jumped out in a hurry. So I think it’s pretty safe to say he feels pretty good about himself at the plate.”

John Lackey pitched 4 1-3 innings for the Red Sox, yielding one run and six hits. He struck out three and walked none.

“I kind of pitched more like I would during the season,” Lackey said. “I incorporated a lot more pitches today, as opposed to the first two times I was pretty fastball heavy. So today it was more like a regular-season start and I was able to throw some off-speed pitches behind in the count and do some things that I need to do in the season.”

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