Red Sox open spring slate with pair of college doubleheaders

Buchholz to oppose Northeastern, followed by Miley taking on Boston College

Red Sox open spring slate with pair of college doubleheaders

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox will continue their recent tradition of opening their Spring Training game schedule with a college doubleheader Tuesday, hosting Northeastern at 1:05 p.m. ET, and then Boston College shortly thereafter.

When Clay Buchholz takes the mound in the first game, the eight players who charge out of the dugout behind him might be the same who fill out manager John Farrell's lineup on Opening Day in Philadelphia on April 6.

Christian Vazquez will be behind the plate, with Mike Napoli at first, Dustin Pedroia at second, Xander Bogaerts at short and free-agent acquisition Pablo Sandoval manning third base.

Hanley Ramirez will play his first game for the Red Sox since 2005, when he trots out to his new position of left field. Mookie Betts will be in center and Shane Victorino, coming off back surgery, will be in right.

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"He's been full go, and no restrictions, with all baseball activity," Farrell said of Victorino. "Most importantly, there hasn't been any need for additional recovery or rest time. He's answering every physical question to date."

David Ortiz, Boston's longest-tenured player and biggest name, will serve as the designated hitter.

In the second game, Wade Miley, the lefty the Red Sox acquired from the D-backs, will get the start. New backup catcher Ryan Hanigan will be his batterymate. Top prospect Blake Swihart will also see action behind the plate. Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig and Daniel Nava will be in the lineup.

"Yeah, just go get on the field and see a different uniform and for our pitchers to throw without a screen in front of them will be beneficial," said Farrell. "We're into games finally. I think guys are more than ready for the next phase and that begins [Tuesday]."

Both college games will be seven innings.

The Red Sox will go back to a drills-only day Wednesday. The Grapefruit League slate opens Thursday at 7:05 p.m. with a 10-minute bus ride to play the Twins. Joe Kelly starts that game for Boston.

The home Grapefruit League opener will be Friday at 1:05 p.m. against the Marlins, with Justin Masterson on the mound for the Sox.

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.