Grapefruit League game roundup: March 27
Recaps from March 27 action in the Grapefruit League.
Marlins 4, Red Sox 1
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Jon Lester prepared for his opening day start by pitching four scoreless innings for the Boston Red Sox in a 4-1 loss Wednesday to the Miami Marlins.
Red Sox manager John Farrell announced before the game that Lester would start Monday at Yankee Stadium against New York. The left-hander then gave up just two hits, striking out four without a walk.
Kevin Slowey, the Marlins’ fifth starter, allowed one run and five hits in five innings. Jonny Gomes homered off him in the second.
Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard allowed three runs in the seventh.
Twins 7, Pirates 4
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — A.J. Burnett loosened up for his opening day start with three innings Wednesday in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 7-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
Burnett allowed two runs and four hits and struck out two. He’ll next pitch on Monday when the Pirates host the Chicago Cubs.
Vance Worley went five innings for the Twins, giving up two runs and seven hits while striking out five.
Pedro Alvarez had four hits and three RBIs, including a towering solo home run off Worley. Alvarez also made a throwing error from third base in the eighth that led to two unearned runs.
Danny Ortiz hit a two-run homer and Doug Bernier had three hits for the Twins.
Blue Jays 6, Rays 1
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) — Colby Rasmus hit a grand slam that capped a six-run rally in the eighth inning off Kirby Yates and the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 Wednesday.
Jeff Niemann, still uncertain whether he will be in Tampa Bay’s rotation to open the season, made a final statement in his favor, pitching six scoreless innings of two-hit, no-walk ball. Niemann struck out three and improved his spring ERA to 2.92.
Yunel Escobar hit an RBI triple for Tampa Bay.
Toronto starter J.A. Happ, who appears likely to have earned the fifth spot in the Blue Jays’ rotation with Tuesday’s demotion of Ricky Romero, gave up one earned run, four hits and four walks in 4 2-3 innings.
Nationals (ss) 11, Braves 2
VIERA, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Zimmerman hit three home runs and Wilson Ramos hit two more as a split squad of Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 11-2 Wednesday.
Tyler Moore also homered for the Nationals, giving them six for the afternoon. Zimmerman and Ramos each had four RBIs.
Zimmerman opened the fourth inning with a home run off Daniel Rodriguez, then started the fifth with a drive against off Christian Martinez. Zimmerman hit a two-run homer off Dusty Hughes in the seventh.
Atlanta’s Evan Gattis and Gerald Laird hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth against Ross Detwiler.
Rodriguez was tagged for eight runs and gave up four homers in two-plus innings.
Cardinals 10, Nationals (ss) 1
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Jaime Garcia pitched eight sharp innings Wednesday and the St. Louis Cardinals topped a split squad of Washington Nationals 10-1 Wednesday.
Garcia allowed one run and six hits, walking none and striking out eight. The Nationals’ lineup didn’t include anyone on its projected 25-man roster — the Washington starters had combined for only 20 at-bats this spring training going into the afternoon.
Midway through the game, most of the Cardinals’ regulars already had three at-bats, prompting manager Mike Matheny to call over to the minor league side of the complex for extra players as substitutes.
Mets 6, Astros 2
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Jonathon Niese got ready for his opening day assignment by throwing 4 1-3 scoreless innings Wednesday night, leading the New York Mets over the Houston Astros 6-2.
Niese gave up two hits, struck out seven and walked two. His next outing will be Monday at home against San Diego.
Marlon Byrd homered, doubled and drove in three runs.
Mets infielder Justin Turner, who recently came back from an ankle injury, left after the third because of a strained
calf. He said it cramped up in the top of the second and again
after grounding out in the bottom half. He played a full inning on it before exiting.
Edgar Gonzalez, competing for a long reliever role with the Astros, gave up three runs and four hits in three innings.
Yankees 11, Orioles 8
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — David Phelps pitched into the sixth inning, striking out nine, Bobby Wilson had three RBIs and the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 11-8 on Wednesday night.
Phelps will start the season in the Yankees rotation because Phil Hughes will begin the year on the disabled list with a bulging disk in his back.
He allowed three runs on four hits in 5 1-3 innings. Phelps walked two.
Wilson had a two-run double in the second and a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Jair Jurrjens started for the Orioles, but left in the second with a bruised right rib when he was a hit by a line drive by Thomas Neal.
Taylor Teagarden had a three-run home run and Nate McLouth a two-run shot for Baltimore.