Boston at Minnesota

    Boston «8

    Red Sox 8, Twins 3 wire reports

    FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Daisuke Matsuzaka's spring training debut featured much less fanfare than last year.

    Beginning his second big league season, the Japanese star pitched two quick innings to help the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 8-3 on Friday night.

    Matsuzaka threw 12 pitches, eight for strikes, while facing the minimum six batters in a scoreless outing. He gave up singles to Denard Span in the first and Delmon Young in the second, but got Michael Cuddyer and Mike Redmond to ground into double plays.

    Boston's Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run homer off Kevin Slowey, and Jason Varitek added a solo shot for a 3-0 lead in the fourth. George Kottaras, who replaced Varitek at catcher, hit a three-run homer in the ninth.

    Slowey, hoping to secure a spot in Minnesota's rotation, struck out David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez before running into problems.

    Matsuzaka and Twins starter Boof Bonser looked sharp, though each went to work under different circumstances than a year ago.

    When Matsuzaka pitched in a Red Sox uniform for the first time in 2007, a media contingent of more than 100 descended on Fort Myers, broadcasting his game against Boston College live on TV in Japan.

    This season, the number of reporters following Matsuzaka has dwindled to about 30, and he doesn't mind at all.

    "Being watched all the time is a source of stress," Matsuzaka said through a translator. "Knowing that the pairs of eyes have been reduced makes it a lot more comfortable."

    The right-hander was 15-12 with a 4.40 ERA during his rookie season, striking out 201 batters in 204 2/3 innings. He led all rookies in wins, innings and strikeouts, and finished fourth in AL Rookie of the Year voting.

    Bonser, looking to solidify his spot in Minnesota's rotation, lost 29 pounds from a year ago after seeking the advice of a nutritionist and watching his diet.

    The 6-foot-4 Bonser hopes the weight loss will help him pitch deeper into games. He didn't have any complete games last season, finishing 8-12 with a 5.10 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 173 innings.

    "I feel a lot better, actually," Bonser said. "Everything feels easier."

    Coco Crisp, hoping to keep his starting spot in center field, had a broken-bat RBI single for Boston.

    Brian Buscher started at third base for the Twins and hit a solo homer off reliever Julian Tavarez.

    Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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    Boston Red Sox
    Julio Lugo, SS3000003 .000
        Jed Lowrie, SS1000112 .000
    Dustin Pedroia, 2B2000101 .000
        Keith Ginter, 3B2000013 .000
    David Ortiz, DH3010010 .333
       a- Chris Carter, PH-DH2000022 .000
    Manny Ramirez, LF2000011 .000
        Joe Thurston, LF-RF3120001 .667
    Mike Lowell, 3B2110000 .500
        Gil Velazquez, 3B-2B2111101 .500
    Kevin Youkilis, 1B3112001 .333
        Brandon Moss, 1B2110010 .500
    Jason Varitek, C2111010 .500
        George Kottaras, C22231001.000
    Coco Crisp, CF20211001.000
        Jon Van Every, CF1000100 .000
    Bobby Kielty, RF2000112 .000
        Jeff Bailey, LF1000012 .000
    a-struck out for Ortiz in the 6th
    2B - George Kottaras (1, Nathan)
    HR - Kevin Youkilis (1, Slowey), Jason Varitek (1, Slowey), George Kottaras (1, Gomez)
    RBI - Gil Velazquez (1), Kevin Youkilis 2 (2), Jason Varitek (1), George Kottaras 3 (3), Coco Crisp (1)
    2-OUT RBI - Gil Velazquez (1), Kevin Youkilis 2 (2), Jason Varitek (1), George Kottaras 3 (3)
    SB - Coco Crisp 2 (2, 2nd base off Slowey/Redmond, 3rd base off Nathan/Redmond)
    Team LOB - 9
    DP - Matsuzaka-Lugo-Youkilis, Lugo-Pedroia-Youkilis, Velazquez-Lowrie-Moss
    E - Brandon Moss (1, Misplayed grounder)
    Boston Red Sox
    Daisuke Matsuzaka 2200000 0.00
    Hideki Okajima (W,1-0) 1000010 0.00
    Mike Timlin (H,1) 1000010 0.00
    Julian Tavarez 2211011 4.50
    David Aardsma 1000010 0.00
    Dan Kolb 1100100 0.00
    Lee Gronkiewicz 1322020 18.00
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daisuke Matsuzaka 2-2, Mike Timlin 2-0, Julian Tavarez 4-1, Dan Kolb 3-0
    Batters Faced - Daisuke Matsuzaka 6, Hideki Okajima 3, Mike Timlin 3, Julian Tavarez 8, David Aardsma 3, Dan Kolb 5, Lee Gronkiewicz 6
    Minnesota Twins
    Denard Span, CF2010000 .500
        Carlos Gomez, CF2000003 .000
    Jason Kubel, DH2000001 .200
       a- Garrett Jones, PH-DH2000011 .000
    Michael Cuddyer, RF2000011 .250
        Jason Pridie, RF-LF2000010 .000
    Justin Morneau, 1B2010000 .500
        Randy Ruiz, PR-1B2110010 .500
    Delmon Young, LF2010001 .500
        Jon Knott, RF2110000 .250
    Mike Redmond, C2000001 .000
        Eli Whiteside, C10100001.000
        Jeff Christy, C10120001.000
    Brian Buscher, 3B2111010 .500
        Tommy Watkins, 3B2000011 .000
    Nick Punto, 2B2000000 .000
        Alejandro Machado, PR-2B1000001 .000
    Adam Everett, SS2000001 .000
        Chris Basak, SS0000100 .000
    a-struck out for Kubel in the 6th
    2B - Jon Knott (1, Gronkiewicz)
    HR - Brian Buscher (1, Tavarez)
    RBI - Jeff Christy 2 (2), Brian Buscher (1)
    2-OUT RBI - Jeff Christy 2 (2)
    Team LOB - 4
    Outfield Assists - Carlos Gomez 1
    DP - Machado-Basak-Ruiz
    Minnesota Twins
    Boof Bonser 2100010 0.00
    Kevin Slowey (L,0-1) 1.2433222 16.20
    Brian Bass 1.1211100 6.75
    Joe Nathan 1211130 9.00
    Philip Humber 1100010 0.00
    Zach Day 1000220 0.00
    Mariano Gomez 1233111 27.00
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Boof Bonser 2-3, Brian Bass 2-1, Philip Humber 1-0, Mariano Gomez 1-1
    Batters Faced - Boof Bonser 7, Kevin Slowey 11, Brian Bass 6, Joe Nathan 6, Philip Humber 3, Zach Day 5, Mariano Gomez 6
    Game Information
    Attendance - 7889
    Game Time - 2:55
    Temperature - 71
    Umpires - Home - Randy Marsh, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Sam Holbrook