FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Jon Lester was pleased that he reached his pitch count in the humid conditions. He was less than thrilled with his fielding after a costly error.
Lester pitched six innings Friday in his fifth spring start, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 3-2 victory over a Toronto Blue Jays split-squad.
“(He was) strong,” manager Terry Francona said. “Sometimes trying to be too strong. And again we didn’t make a couple plays behind him. But I think he’s raring to go.”
Boston third baseman Mike Lowell departed in the first inning with a bruised left knee after fouling a pitch off his leg. X-rays were negative.
“He’s going to be pretty sore,” Francona said. “But he’s intact. He’s just going to be pretty sore.”
Lester allowed two unearned runs and six hits, struck out five and walked two. The left-hander committed a throwing error in the third, leading to a run, but was feeling strong after throwing 90 pitches.
“It was awful muggy today, which I think is a good thing,” he said. “You get a day like that and you get through some difficult innings with it, I think it helps you in the long run. But I felt pretty good. I felt like I could keep pitching, which is a good thing. … I felt pretty good as far as stamina and keeping my legs under me.”
Jonathan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima and Ramon Ramirez finished up with a scoreless inning apiece for Boston.
Brett Cecil tossed five scoreless innings for Toronto in his first spring start. He yielded two hits, struck out four and walked one.
David Ortiz had an RBI single in Boston’s three-run ninth inning.
Brad Emaus had three hits and drove in two runs for the Blue Jays. Randy Ruiz went 2 for 4.
NOTES: Francona announced his rotation for the start of the season. RHP Josh Beckett will start the major league opener on April 4 against the New York Yankees in Fenway Park. Lester, John Lackey and Tim Wakefield will follow Beckett. With three early off days, Francona will bring Beckett back to pitch the fifth game of the season, and Clay Buchholz will go the next day, April 11 in Kansas City. … The Red Sox acquired INF Kevin Frandsen from the San Francisco Giants for a player to be named or cash. Frandsen, 27, spent most of last season at Triple-A Fresno, batting .295 with 13 homers and 55 RBIs in 110 games. … Boston agreed to a minor league contract with LHP Scott Schoeneweis, who was released by the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.