Ellsbury, Lester shine for Red Sox
Leadoff man hits two homers; lefty allows one unearned run
RAYS 8, RED SOX 6
at Fort Myers, Fla.
Wednesday, March 10
Red Sox at the plate: Jacoby Ellsbury had a big day from the leadoff spot, drilling two homers and driving in three runs. Kevin Youkilis went 2-for-3 with an RBI double, while Dustin Pedroia added two hits and scored on Youkilis' double.Rays at the plate: Jason Bartlett scored twice, had two hits and knocked in two runs, fueling his team from the leadoff spot. Justin Ruggiano batted leadoff later in the game and added two hits of his own. B.J. Upton, Kelly Shoppach and Ryan Shealy all had two-hit games, and Reid Brignac collected his ninth and 10th Grapefruit League RBIs with a single. With the victory, the Rays have won seven consecutive Grapefruit League games.
Red Sox on the mound: Jon Lester recovered from a shaky first outing, allowing two hits and one unearned run in 2 2/3 innings. The left-hander walked one and struck out four. Minor Leaguer Adam Mills had a tough day, getting belted around for seven hits and six runs in one inning. Closer Jonathan Papelbon worked a clean inning, as did his two primary setup men, Hideki Okajima and Daniel Bard.Rays on the mound: Lefty David Price had to leave the game in the bottom of the second inning with an abrasion of his right palm, suffered when he was struck by Adrian Beltre's broken bat. Setup man Grant Balfour fired a scoreless inning, with a walk serving as his only blemish. Worth noting: Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, who had been out of camp the past several days due to an illness to his father, returned and should play in a game within the next couple of days.
Grapefruit League records: Red Sox 5-3; Rays 7-1.
Up next: John Lackey will make his second start of the spring on Thursday, when the Red Sox take a lengthy bus ride to play the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla., in a game that starts at 1:10 p.m. ET and will be shown on MLB.TV. This will mark the first time the Sox have seen Jason Bay since the popular left fielder signed with the Mets in January. Victor Martinez, Pedroia, Marco Scutaro, Mike Cameron and J.D. Drew are the regulars scheduled to make the trip.
The Rays will split up on Thursday afternoon for the first time this spring when they play 1:05 p.m. games against the Pirates in Bradenton, Fla., and the Blue Jays in Port Charlotte, Fla. Wade Davis will start the game in Bradenton, and Andy Sonnanstine will start in Port Charlotte. Willy Aybar will make his first appearance of the spring as the designated hitter against Toronto, and for the second time this spring, Pat Burrell will play in the field. He played left field on Sunday against the Phillies and will play right field against the Pirates.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.