Lester shines, but Red Sox take loss
Lefty needs just 20 pitches to get work in; McAnulty lends power
REDS 9, RED SOX 8
at Fort Myers, Fla.
Thursday, March 3
Reds at the plate: Jonny Gomes, in competition for a roster spot, clubbed a grand slam in the top of the seventh against Wes Littleton. Jay Bruce bashed a two-run homer and Edwin Encarnacion added a solo shot, with both of those blasts coming in the fourth inning. Brandon Phillips went 1-for-2 and scored a run.
Red Sox at the plate: Jed Lowrie, competing with Julio Lugo for the starting shortstop's job, belted two hits and scored a run. Paul McAnulty, trying to win a spot coming off the bench, belted a two-run double in the bottom of the third, helping to offset his error in the top of the inning. He later added a two-run homer.
Reds on the mound: Starter Micah Owings went 3 2/3 innings, giving up three hits and two runs while striking out four. Right-hander Jared Burton gave up a hit and struck out one over 1 1/3 innings.
Red Sox on the mound: Lefty Jon Lester was impressive in his second Grapefruit League start, firing two hitless innings and striking out two while throwing a mere 20 pitches. Hideki Okajima worked a scoreless third inning. Ramon Ramirez, acquired in an offseason trade for Coco Crisp, struggled in the fourth, getting tagged for four hits, four runs (three earned) and two homers.
Junichi Tazawa made his first appearance against Major League hitters, firing a 1-2-3 inning. Tazawa hadn't allowed a run in his three games, the first two of which were against Boston College and Northeastern University.Grapefruit League record: Red Sox 2-5; Reds 4-3 Up next: The Red Sox have their first off-day of Spring Training on Wednesday. They will be back at City of Palms Park on Thursday for a noon ET exhibition against Puerto Rico's World Baseball Classic entry. Clay Buchholz will start that game for Boston. Closer Jonathan Papelbon will make his second exhibition appearance.
The Reds host the Netherlands on Wednesday, with right-hander Bronson Arroyo on the mound at 6:05 p.m. Cincinnati shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who missed all of 2008 with a compression fracture in his left knee, will play his first game of the spring, serving as the DH.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.