FORT MYERS, Fla. — Boston righthander Clay Buchholz wasn’t as sharp as his three previous starts as the New York Yankees reached him for three runs and five hits in five innings en route to a 3-2 spring training victory over the Red Sox Thursday night.
Buchholz struck out three and walked one and was outdueled by New York’s David Phelps, who allowed two runs on four hits in six innings.
Francisco Cervelli hit a solo homer off Buchholz in the second inning and the Yankees added two more runs in the fifth when Ichiro Suzuki hit a two-run, two-out single that scored Zoilo Almonte and Zelous Wheeler. Almonte drew a two-out walk and Wheeler doubled.
The Red Sox got on the board with two runs in the sixth when Dustin Pedroia smacked a two-run double, scoring Carlos Rivero and Grady Sizemore. Rivero was pinch running for Jonathan Herrera, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, and Sizemore followed with a single to right.
The Red Sox and Yankees will next meet during the regular season on Friday, April 11 in New York.
The Red Sox will travel to Clearwater, Fla., on Friday for a 1:05 p.m. game against the Philadelphia Phillies and Sox ace lefty Jon Lester will get the start. Left-handers Andrew Miller and Rich Hill are also expected to get some innings for the Sox while position players expected to make the trip are A.J. Pierzynski, Will Middlebrooks, Jonny Gomes, Mike Carp and Jackie Bradley Jr.
MLB NOTEBOOK: An MRI on Jacoby Ellsbury’s tight right calf showed no damage and the New York Yankees are hopeful that their new center fielder will return by opening day.
Ellsbury, who signed a seven-year, $153 million contract with the Yankees during the winter, last played in a spring-training game a week ago.
“We got good news today,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the Yankees played the Red Sox.
“Our people decided to take a precautionary MRI to make sure there wasn’t anything there, and it came back negative. Everything is great.”
Ellsbury is batting .174 with one home in 23 at-bats this spring. Despite Ellsbury’s history of injuries, Girardi does not expect an extended recovery. He hopes the 30-year-old Ellsbury can return this weekend or early next week, but the team will not rush him back.
“We want to get him out there,” Girardi said. “We got to get him ready for the season. For us, as soon as we can get him out there, we’ll get him out there.”