Narveson shuts down Red Sox over three innings

Narveson shuts down Red Sox over three innings

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In his hardest test of the spring, Marlins left-hander Chris Narveson held his own on Saturday against a powerful Red Sox lineup.

With six of Boston's expected Opening Day starters in the game, Narveson worked around four hits and one walk with a strikeout in three scoreless innings in an eventual 11-8 win.

Two of the most critical at-bats of the game came against designated hitter David Ortiz, who Narveson faced in the first and third.

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With one runner on and one out in Ortiz's first at-bat, Narveson induced a 5-4-3 double play. Facing Ortiz again with the bases loaded and one out, Narveson got the slugger to hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the third and preserve a five-run lead.

"It is Spring Training, I'm working on things, he's working on things, but it's always nice to execute a pitch and see some results, Narveson said. "I think as a player, you love challenges, just because you want to see where you are at. It gives you a sense of where you're at as things gets closer to Opening Day."

In two other appearances this spring, the 34-year-old southpaw combined to allow three runs on five hits over three frames.

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Narveson pitched in 15 games (two starts) for the Marlins last season, going 3-1 with a 4.45 ERA in 30 1/3 innings.

Narveson, a non-roster invitee who's in a battle to make the Opening Day roster, helped his cause after Saturday's performance.

"Chris is a guy who's been around and knows what he's doing and understands there are a lot of different roles for him," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's just out pitching, trying to execute and not putting too much into that hitter. He just wants to get himself ready. That's the beauty of the older guys."

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.