Marlins 5, Red Sox 1

Before taking the mound Wednesday against Miami, Red Sox

left-hander Jon Lester knew he was going to be Boston’s opening day

starter.

Red Sox manager John Farrell made the announcement earlier in

the day and Lester then went out and threw four scoreless innings,

giving up two hits with no walks with four strikeouts in a 4-1 loss

to the Marlins.

”It’s been a real good spring for him,” said Farrell. ”He’s

been sharp. He’s been consistent. Today was no different. Multiple

pitches for strikes. He’d had the benefit of pitching against this

club previous so I think he had some understanding of their

aggressiveness.

”And once again, very much in control. Made some quality

pitches on the rare occasion when he did get behind in the count.

But a very good spring for Jon.”

In six spring outings spanning 24 innings, Lester has allowed

just two runs on eight hits and four walks with 20 strikeouts. With

an ERA of 0.75, he said his spring could not have gone much

better.

”It’s been great,” Lester said. ”From not just a pitching

aspect. I would say from just day one as far as PFPs, the meetings,

to everything. It’s just been smooth. It’s been crisp. A lot of

energy from the guys. It’s been a good spring all around, I think,

for everybody.”

Slowey went five innings, giving up one run on five hits and

three walks with four strikeouts. The lone run the right-hander

allowed came on Jonny Gomes’ two-out home run in the second

inning.

”Slowey looked good,” said Marlins manager Mike Redmond. ”He

gave us a good five innings. Mixed in a few breaking balls. I

thought he was efficient.”

Slowey came into camp as a non-roster invitee and is now the

Marlins’ No. 5 starter.

”I’m just very thankful for the opportunity I got,” he said.

”I had plenty of opportunity. Without opportunity, there’s no

success. For me, it’s going to be every five days going out there

and giving my team a chance to win.”

Red Sox right-hander Daniel Bard, who is fighting for a bullpen

spot after a disastrous attempt at starting last season, gave up

three runs in the seventh. In eight spring appearances over eight

innings, Bard has a 6.75 ERA.

”Frustrating,” Bard said. ”I felt like I actually threw the

ball pretty well. One thing I think I didn’t do well was throw my

off-speed for strikes. That allowed them to sit on the fastball a

bit. … They were finding holes, I guess. Not going to dwell on it

too much. Can’t get too wrapped up in results in spring

training.”

Austin Kearns and Chris Valaika led off the seventh with

consecutive singles, and Casey Kotchman’s groundout moved the

runners to second and third before Koyie Hill’s sacrifice fly

scored Kearns. With Wilson Valdez batting, a passed ball by catcher

Jarrod Saltalamacchia moved Valaika to third. After Valdez walked,

Daniel Pertusati’s double scored both runners, giving Miami a 3-1

lead.

The Marlins added two runs in the ninth off left-hander Ryan

Rowland-Smith when Pertusati’s two-out single scored Valaika and

Kotchman.

NOTES: The Marlins announced RHP Ricky Nolasco will start on

Opening Day, followed by RHP Nathan Eovaldi, LHP Wade LeBlanc, HO

Henderson Alvarez, and Slowey. It will be Nolasco’s second Opening

Day start and first since 2009. … Marlins 2B Donovan Solana, who

has been sidelined for a week with a sore back, was scheduled to

play in a minor league game Wednesday. … Following Lester in

Boston’s rotation will be RHP Clay Buchholz, RHP Ryan Dempster, LHP

Felix Doubront and RHP John Lackey. … C Ryan Lavarnway was

optioned to Triple A and RHP Anthony Carter and RHP Jose De La

Torre were reassigned to minor league camp. … CF Jacoby Ellsbury

(ankle, heel) and RF Shane Victorino (wrist) were out of Boston’s

lineup with injuries. Both are expected to play Thursday. … Red

Sox DH David Ortiz took batting practice before the game, his first

BP session since being shut down two weeks ago to rest his sore

heels. … SS Stephen Drew also took batting practice for the first

time since suffering a concussion March 7 when he was hit in the

helmet by a pitch.