FORT MYERS, Fla. – Mike Napoli hit an RBI single in his first spring game for the Boston Red Sox, a 5-2 win Friday night over the Pittsburgh Pirates
It was an 0-2 day for Pittsburgh. During the afternoon, the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Pirates 6-5 in Sarasota.
Napoli joined Boston as a free agent in the offseason. He had been slowed in camp because of a hip problem. He went 1-for-2 and scored a run.
The Red Sox are looking for Napoli to be their primary first baseman. Pittsburgh tested the converted catcher right away when Darren Ford bunted on the first pitch. Napoli fielded the ball and beat Ford to the bag.
Napoli hit an RBI single off pitcher Jeff Locke’s right leg in the first inning.
Jon Lester pitched three scoreless innings for Boston in his second spring outing. He gave up one hit, struck out two and walked one.
Brian Roberts had a leadoff home run and two other hits, Nolan Reimold and Wilson Betemit connected for consecutive home runs in the Orioles’ victory.
Roberts homered in the first inning against Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald. He hasn’t hit a regular season home run since 2011.
“It’s good to see him back. It’s very frustrating for a guy who wants to be out there and can’t be out there,” Orioles starter Jason Hammel said.
Reimold, who missed most of last year after neck surgery, hit a two-run homer in the second ahead of Betemit’s homer. He left the game after the homer with a sore right shoulder.
McDonald allowed four runs and six hits in three innings. He said that the Orioles, who have won six of seven, were swinging especially aggressively.
“That was a little unusual for spring training,” McDonald said.
“They did hit some pitches that were good. They had some good swings, I can’t take that away from them.”
Gaby Sanchez homered twice for the Pirates.
“That’s a byproduct of a healthier guy, a guy that was able to get in a full offseason of work in. He played from behind last year,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “He’s come in a good place.”
Making his spring training debut, Hammel, who missed much of the second half of 2012 with right knee surgery, allowed one hit in two scoreless innings.
“Nice to be out there with two good knees. Very, very happy with the results were good, there’s still stuff to work on but it was a good start. Good first one,” Hammel said.
Adam Jones was 0 for 3 in his last game before leaving the Orioles this weekend to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
The game ended when Pittsburgh’s Jordy Mercer tried to score from second on an infield hit by Alex Presley. Mercer was tagged out by catcher Luis Exposito.