FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — John Lackey walked his first batter in 20 innings this spring and gave up a run in the Boston Red Sox’s 5-3 win over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.
The Red Sox scored two runs in the eighth inning off Twins reliever Ron Mahay. Scott Schoenweis pitched a scoreless eighth for the Red Sox.
Lackey went five innings, giving up one run on six hits and a walk with two strikeouts.
“I thought he got on some fastballs,” manager Terry Francona said. “I think like (Jon) Lester and (Josh) Beckett, he’s ready for the season. I think he’s raring to go. I think he was chomping at the bit a little bit today even.”
Nick Blackburn, making his fifth appearance and third start, went five innings, giving up three runs and five hits with two strikeouts.
“Everything felt good today,” Blackburn said. “My curveball and changeup was spotty today, but for the most part I had a good feeling. Throwing the right ones and how I wanted to throw them.”
Marco Scutaro went 2 for 3 with two RBIs for the Red Sox.
Lackey, who finished the spring with a record of 1-1 (1.35 ERA), was pleased with his outing and his spring. The only run he allowed was a third-inning solo homer to Jim Thome.
“I definitely didn’t get ahead (of hitters) as good today as I have in the past,” Lackey said. “(But,) pretty much most of the balls that are getting put in play are on the ground. So I’m pretty happy with that.
He’s not surprised at the number of walks he’s allowed.
“I’m not a guy that walks very many people, in general,” he said. “But there’s going to be some times in the regular season where a walk’s not a bad thing. So, I’ll definitely probably walk a few more during the season than I did here.”
After starting the last two seasons on the disabled list, he’s happy he’s avoided that this year.
“I’m just excited to be healthy and be heading north,” Lackey said. “Feeling pretty good about it.”
The Twins left Fort Myers right after the game to fly home, where they will open their new park, Target Field, with exhibition games Friday and Saturday against the Cardinals.
“I think everybody’s excited,” Blackburn said. “It’ll be good to be there. The Metrodome was good, but it’s something new for us. I think we’re all excited to get in there, get it checked out, and see how things are going to go.”
NOTES: Francona announced Thursday that pitcher Scott Atchison has made the team. Left-hander Alan Embree, who signed with the Red Sox on March 20, will remain in Fort Myers when the team heads north after Friday’s game. Embree is tentatively scheduled to pitch in a minor league game Saturday. … Right-hander Junichi Tazawa will have Tommy John surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday. … Twins manager Ron Gardenhire named Nick Punto the starting third baseman.