BRADENTON, Fla. -- David Ortiz and Pablo Sandoval stroked their first homers of the spring one out apart in the third inning Thursday, powering the Red Sox to a 5-1 Grapefruit League win over the Pirates.
The Bucs have been limited to exactly one run in each of their first five home games in McKechnie Field, where the spring's third sellout counted 8,455, the third-largest attendance in the park's 92-year history.
Clay Buchholz turned in another sharp start for the Red Sox, allowing a first-inning unearned run on Andrew McCutchen's sacrifice fly but little else during his three innings. In his first spring outing, Buchholz held Minnesota hitless for three innings on Saturday.
Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett departed after 2 1/3 innings without having allowed a hit but reaching his limit of pitches. He left behind two men on base with walks and Ortiz cleared them with a shot to straightaway center off Ryan Beckman, a young right-hander called up for the game from the Bucs' Minor League camp. One out later, Sandoval pulled his homer over the right-field boardwalk.
"I'm just working on timing and trying to figure things out before the season starts. It always takes me forever," said Ortiz. "It doesn't matter how good you are or how easy it is for you to get to the point where you're ready to go. You're always going to need Spring Training, because that's how you get there."
Burnett was glad that his second test of the spring came against a Boston lineup of mostly regulars.
"Yes, I was happy about that. We say that it's only a Spring Training game and we just need to get in our work, but I have a lot of history against the guys and it was good to get to compete against them," Burnett said.
Up next: Rick Porcello makes his second start of Spring Training in Friday's 7:05 p.m. ET game against the Yankees (Watch on MLB.TV). Manager John Farrell plans on playing most of his regulars, including Dustin Pedroia, Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez and Sandoval.