SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have had enough of spring training.
They figure that if Victor Martinez is going to hit two homers and drive in six runs, and if Jon Lester is going to throw seven innings of three-hit ball, it might as well happen in a regular-season game.
With Boston’s powerful battery leading the way, the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 14-6 Wednesday.
Martinez hit a two-run shot off Orioles starter Jason Berken in the third inning and a grand slam against Jim Johnson in the fourth. In the fifth inning, he hit a drive that was caught at the warning track in center.
“You have one of those days once in a while, when you go out there, see the ball and just put a good swing on it,” Martinez said. “Like I always say, when you put a good swing on the ball, anything can happen.”
Reserve Kevin Frandsen also hit a grand slam for the Red Sox, who had 17 hits.
Too bad all that offense was wasted in an exhibition game.
“I think we’re all ready to get this thing started,” Martinez said.
Lester said, “The biggest thing is spring training kind of drags on the last week or two, so I think everybody is ready to head north and start playing for real.”
Lester shined in his final spring training start, giving up one run, walking three and striking out three.
“There were some things that I wasn’t real pleased with, but for the most part I feel like I’m ready to go,” the left-hander said.
His catcher was far more impressed.
“He was great. He was mixing all his pitches, and when he fell behind in the count he was able to throw his changeup and his cutter,” Martinez said. “He did a great job keeping the ball down. And he didn’t let the game get away from him. We got a pretty good lead and he stayed with his game and kept making his pitches.”
Manager Terry Francona said, “I thought he was plenty strong. I thought he had good movement on his fastball, some good changeups, a couple good breaking balls. I thought it was a good way to end spring training.”
Ty Wigginton homered for the Orioles during a four-run ninth against Alan Embree, whose ERA this spring is 38.57.
Berken gave up five runs in 2 1-3 innings.
“You saw two different guys in Berken,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. “The other day he got real good extension on his pitches and pitched down. Today he didn’t. You take the good with the bad.”
Unlike the Red Sox, Baltimore has some work to do before the opener next week.
“We know what we need to get done in order to get off to a good start in the season,” Trembley said. “We can’t play like this.”