Boston’s Felix Doubront delivers to the plate during the first inning of Monday’s spring training game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Finally on the mound for a spring training game, Felix Doubront was pleased with his outing.
Doubront, slowed a sore left shoulder this year, pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings for the Boston Red Sox on Monday in a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
“Feels fine,” Doubront said of his shoulder. “It’s good to be back on the mound again, working hard to see the results for my arm. Very good.”
Doubront gave up one hit, walked two and struck out two, throwing 23 of 43 pitches for strikes.
“When you look at his fastball, breaking ball, as well as a couple of changeups that he threw. Ideally you’d like to see him get through a couple of innings in his first outing,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “But the fact is, he got up and down twice, no physical issues.”
Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, making his first start and second appearance of spring training, allowed one run and two hits in three innings with four strikeouts. He threw 31 of 43 pitches for strikes.
“I’m very happy,” Hellickson said. “My arm feels great. Everything feels good. All my stuff feels really good.”
Loser Jeff Niemann followed Hellickson and gave up one run in 2 2-3 innings.
“I felt all right out there,” said Niemann, who has not worked out of the bullpen in the regular season since 2010. “It’s a little bit different coming out of the bullpen. But overall everything went well. I was throwing strikes, making them put the ball in play.”
Rays manager Joe Maddon liked what he saw from his first two pitchers.
“I thought Jeff and Hellickson were both very sharp,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon. “Helly was really sharp, good velocity, good breaking ball, curve and change. And I thought the same of Jeff.”
Terry Doyle won in relief, giving up one run in 2 1-3 innings.
Phillies 5, Pirates 0
BRADENTON, Fla. — A.J. Burnett lasted just 1 1-3 innings Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies, struggling with his control as his pitch count climbed to 51.
The Pittsburgh Pirates ace, preparing for an opening-day start against the Chicago Cubs, walked in a pair of runs in a four-run second during a 5-0 loss, giving up four runs and four hits.
“All I’m worried about is April 1 and building up to that date,” Burnett said.
Burnett issued consecutive walks to Humberto Quintero and Ben Revere that forced in two runs. Later in the inning, Chase Utley worked reliever Kris Johnson for another bases-loaded walk.
“Walking guys with the bases loaded at this point in the spring doesn’t bother me because I was trying to be aggressive in that situation,” Burnett said.
Phillies fifth starter John Lannan and four relievers combined on a one-hitter. Lannan gave up the Pirates’ only hit, a two-out double by Travis Snider in the first, and walked two during three scoreless innings.
Lannan has allowed one run in five innings in his first two starts. He signed a $5 million, one-year deal with Philadelphia after Washington allowed him to go free.
“I just felt like I had a good rhythm,” Lannan said. “My fastball felt good and I had a good mix with Quintero back there catching. I wish I wouldn’t have walked the two guys. Other than that, though, I was happy.”
Mike Adams, signed to a $12 million, two-year contract, followed Lannan and pitched one perfect inning with one strikeout. Rookie left-hander Adam Morgan followed with three innings and Raul Valdes got the final six outs.
“Our pitching looked real sharp,” Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. “Lannan looked really good. He has a lot of motion in his delivery and it’s tough for the hitters to pick up his pitches.”
Michael Young had two hits and two RBIs for Philadelphia. Revere and Yuniesky Betancourt also had two hits in helping send Pittsburgh to its seventh loss in eight games.
“It’s been a real good spring for us,” Manuel said. “We’ve been working real hard, and we’ve started hitting the last three or four days. The pitching has been good and now we’re starting to swing the bats the way I know we can.”
Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, the Pirates’ No. 2 starter, pitched three scoreless innings. He then departed for San Juan to join the Dominican Republic for the World Baseball Classic.
NOTES: Philadelphia OF Delmon Young was scheduled to visit orthopedist Dr. Richard Ferkel in Los Angeles on Tuesday for a checkup with hope he might be cleared to be participate in limited baseball activities. Young, signed to a $750,000 contract as a free agent in January, underwent microfracture surgery on his right ankle in November and likely will begin the season on the DL. The Phillies are encouraged that he has lost 11 pounds since the start of spring training, dropping to 227. ... Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy gave a pregame speech to the Pirates and also spoke to players at Pittsburgh’s minor league complex.MORE IN Sports WireDOVER, Del. — Denny Hamlin was in the clear, in his head and on the track. Full Story
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