Last updated: March 28. 2014 11:46PM - 1359 Views
Associated Press



Mike Napoli of the Boston Red Sox hits a solo homer in the sixth inning of an exhibition game against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers, Fla., Friday.
Mike Napoli of the Boston Red Sox hits a solo homer in the sixth inning of an exhibition game against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers, Fla., Friday.
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Mike Napoli hit a solo homer, his fourth of the spring, to help the Boston Red Sox defeat the Minnesota Twins 4-0 on Friday.


The Red Sox gave Grady Sizemore the day off after telling the oft-injured three-time All-Star that he will be their starting center field on opening day. He has had seven operations since 2009 and has not played since 2011. He is hitting .333 (13 for 39) with one home run and two RBIs, and he is expected to play Saturday in Boston’s spring finale, also against Minnesota.


“He’s going to be a good addition,” Napoli said of Sizemore. “He’s like everyone else in this clubhouse. He works hard. He loves the game. He fits in well here. We expect him to go out there and play good baseball.”


Napoli homered off of Twins starter Phil Hughes, and the ball landed on the grass-covered berm in left field.


“I got behind him a little bit,” Hughes said. “He put his head down and hit it. It’s one of those things. It’s spring training.”


Felix Doubront made the most of his final spring training start, striking out seven and giving up two walks and seven hits in five innings. He lowered his spring ERA from 9.64 to 7.11 in five appearances.


“I have met my goals,” Doubront said. “I have the mentality set to start the season. It was a better start than the last one. In spring training, I figured out a lot of things.”


Red Sox manager John Farrell said he noticed the improvement.


“I thought he used his cutter a little bit more today than he has pretty much all spring,” Farrell said. “We saw some pitching power. It was a good way to finish camp.”


Hughes, in his fifth and final start of his first spring training with the Twins, gave up four runs on four hits and struck out two in 5 1-3 innings. He finished with a 4.74 ERA.


“The ball’s coming out of his hand real good,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “His velocity is good. His arm strength is good.”


Tigers 6, Rays 3


LAKELAND, Fla. — Miguel Cabrera had a single in three at-bats soon after the announcement of his $292 million, 10-year contract as the Detroit Tigers topped the Tampa Bay Rays in the final Grapefruit League game for both teams.


Alex Avila hit his first home run of the spring for Detroit. Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler, and Austin Jackson each had two hits.


Brandon Guyer homered for the Rays.


Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore allowed three runs in three innings, striking out four. Jake McGee pitched an inning and struck out the side.


Tigers rookie manager Brad Ausmus finished the Grapefruit League season with a record of 15-12.


“We’re ready to play game that count,” Ausmus said. “I just let all the advice from the players, the coaches, and myself sink in. “Now we can go play baseball where it’s 45 degrees.”


Moore went three innings only five days after a ball deflected off his glove and hit him in the mouth, resulting in three stitches to his lower lip. Moore said he wasn’t nervous but cringed when Cabrera hit a hard single to center field, just over the pitchers mound. He said he is ready to get started.


“I felt normal,” Moore said. “I felt like I had good stuff. I gave up some hits, but no walks and that was my goal heading into the season.”

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