Sox post seven-run sixth after Porcello's solid outing
Napoli's mammoth shot the big blow; Boston righty allows one run in four innings
By Michael Kolligian
Special to MLB.com |
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins starter Ervin Santana capped off his impressive Grapefruit League season with five scoreless innings of one-hit ball against Boston's likely Opening Day lineup Thursday night, but the Red Sox erupted for seven runs in the sixth in an 8-5 victory before 7,259 fans at Hammond Stadium.
Santana, whose fastball sat in the 91- to 92-mph range and topped out at 94, struck out two and walked one in a 65-pitch performance.
Suzuki's tally was the only run surrendered by Porcello, who allowed five hits, struck out three and walked none in a four-inning tuneup before his scheduled start in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
"I think the most important thing is the arm and body feel really good, so I'm definitely on the right track," said Porcello after his outing. "It's definitely one of those things where it never really ends throughout the course of the season. There's always maintenance and tweaking to be done, but I feel good about the foundation being built this spring and I'm ready to go."
The Red Sox greeted Twins reliever J.R. Graham with five consecutive hits to open the sixth -- including back-to-back RBI doubles by Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz -- and Mike Napoli hammered a 96-mph Nick Burdi fastball deep into the night for his fifth spring homer in a seven-run outburst.
Boston's Luke Montz lined a home off Minnesota reliever Brian Duensing to lead off the eighth, and Adam Brett Walker II responded with a solo shot of his own off Boston's Matt Barnes in the bottom of the frame.
Josmil Pinto, who was battling for the Twins' backup catcher role, went 0-for-2 and was optioned to Triple-A after the game. Chris Herrmann will be the backup to start the season.
Up next: The Red Sox and Twins will meet for the third time in as many days Friday at JetBlue Park in a 7:05 p.m. ET matchup on MLB.TV. Promising Boston lefty Brian Johnson, who has recorded 16 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings this spring, will look to finish his first Grapefruit League campaign with a flourish.
Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.