Betts notches two hits, scores twice in debut

Betts notches two hits, scores twice in debut

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox made JetBlue Park look like it was Fenway Park in the middle of the summer, riding a strong offensive attack en route to an 8-7 victory over the Twins on Saturday afternoon.

The Twins had plenty of firepower also, riding a second straight strong performance by Byungho Park, who is trying to win a roster spot after being designated for assignment in the offseason.

Mookie Betts led the Red Sox's attack with two hits and two runs. Hanley Ramirez had an RBI double off the replica Green Monster. Dustin Pedroia made his Grapefruit League debut and smoked a double in his first at-bat. Pablo Sandoval, who plans on returning to switch-hitting this season after abandoning it midway through 2015, had an RBI single from the right side. Non-roster invitee Brian Bogusevic put the Red Sox in front for good with an RBI single that scored Deven Marrero in the bottom of the eighth.

Bogusevic's go-ahead RBI

"We had a number of good at-bats today," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Good to see Pedey get in the action. Mookie. Hanley with a couple of quality at-bats. But still, we're so early into this and guys are just starting to get their timing somewhat. There's still a ways to go. Nonetheless, there were some quality swings put on the ball today."

Park launched a solo homer over the Monster in the second inning. The homer came one day after Park went 2-for-2 in the Twins' Grapefruit League opener against the Rays on Friday night. Park is in competition with Kennys Vargas to be the Twins' starting designated hitter.

Twins veteran starter Phil Hughes, who is coming off surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome, gave up four hits and two runs over two innings. Nearly all of the damage came in the first inning.

"It was a little bit of a struggle command-wise, but I can't say it was necessarily a surprise," said Hughes, who hadn't started a game since taking a line drive off his knee on June 9. "With the extra adrenaline and you're out there facing actual hitters, it's a little different."

Roenis Elias, who is a depth option in the Minors, got the start for Boston and allowed a run over two innings. Tyler Thornburg, acquired by the Red Sox to be the eighth-inning setup man, had an inauspicious debut for his new team, giving up four hits and five runs (four earned) over two-thirds of an inning. Joe Kelly, entering his first full season as a reliever, was lights out while pitching a 1-2-3 fifth inning.

Twins: Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, who hit a career-high 42 homers last year, is set to make his Grapefruit League debut against the Nationals on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. CT at Hammond Stadium. Fans can listen to all the action on Gameday Audio. Right-hander Trevor May, who is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, starts for the Twins. He'll be followed by right-hander Jose Berrios, who is also competing for that final rotation job.

Red Sox: Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi highlight the Red Sox regulars who will take the bus to Port Charlotte for Sunday's 1:05 p.m. ET game, which will air on MLB.TV, against the Rays. Hector Velazquez, the right-hander who was purchased from the Mexican League last week, makes the start. Blake Swihart will start behind the plate and top prospects Rafael Devers and Sam Travis are on the travel roster.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.