Red Sox 9, Astros 3

Dustin Pedroia is more than glad to play deep into these

exhibition games.

The former AL MVP tripled and doubled Friday and the Boston Red

Sox beat the Houston Astros 9-3 in a split-squad game.

Coming back from a season cut in half by a fractured left foot,

Pedroia drove in two runs against Brett Myers with a double in the

first inning.

Pedroia’s seventh-inning triple was one of four triples for the

Red Sox, including two by catcher Mark Wagner.

”It felt good to stay in the game for a while and play seven

innings, get four at-bats,” Pedroia said. ”You feel more involved

in the game, so that was fun.”

Pedroia had surgery on his foot on Sept. 3. He’s 5 for 21 in

eight spring games.

”I feel normal. I’ve had a lot of time off, that’s the only

difference. I’m just getting used to being out there and playing

again,” he said. ”Now I’m just focusing on getting ready for the

season, hitting the ball hard and playing good defense. I’m not

worrying about any health issues.”

Myers pitched three innings in his third spring start, giving up

five runs on six hits.

”It was one of those days where you had to gorilla grip the

ball really hard to make it feel right in your hand,” Myers said.

”The balls were pretty slick, but you have to just battle through

that. I’m sure I’m going to encounter that a couple times this

year. That’s just pitching.”

A sore shoulder moved Astros left fielder Carlos Lee to a DH

role. He drove in Houston’s first run with a double.

”I asked for it, told (manager Brad Mills) my shoulder’s a

little tired,” Lee said. ”There’s been a lot of throwing going

on, but I feel good. It’s not a big deal.”

Jason Michaels, limited to hitting as a DH because of a sore

back, played left field for the Astros and is set to do so again on