FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) – Brad Penny, still in contention for the fifth spot in the Red Sox rotation, gave up two runs in four innings Saturday and Boston beat the Minnesota Twins 9-4.

Penny allowed four hits in his second exhibition start. He threw 68 pitches, 46 for strikes.

Penny has been brought along slowly this spring after struggling with arm and shoulder problems last year with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“I think he’s getting to the point where he’s starting to compete, not think about it,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He’s pushing off that rubber and driving the ball toward the plate. I think we’re pretty encouraged. He’ll pitch again Thursday.”

Penny said he was focusing more on pitching and not the power aspect of his game.

“I went in with a different mind frame,” he said. “The first (start), I went out to let it go, test myself. Today I went out to pitch a little bit and mix up my pitches.”

Francona announced his rotation earlier in the day. Josh Beckett will start the opener, followed by Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield.

Clay Buchholz also has a chance at the fifth spot. In five Grapefruit League starts spanning 19 2-3 innings, he has allowed one earned run with 15 strikeouts.

Twins starter Francisco Liriano (1-2) was roughed up, allowing seven runs on four hits – including three home runs – three walks and a hit batter in three innings.

The Red Sox scored all their runs off Liriano in the third inning, when Rocco Baldelli hit a three-run homer, his first of the spring, and David Ortiz and Jason Bay hit two-run homers.

“I think I was getting behind in the count too early. And after that, right down the middle. You get behind in the count, you get hurt,” Liriano said. “Positives? Didn’t feel that bad today. One of those days. No matter what you throw, they’re going to hit it.”

Said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire: “It’s not good when you give up touchdowns.”

“He got the ball up and they were whacking it. His slot, he couldn’t keep on top of the ball. Said he was trying to pitch in and balls were drifting back over the middle. It was one of those days where it just wasn’t there,” he said.

Carlos Gomez went 3-for-3 for the Twins and Matt Tolbert had a two-run homer, his third of the spring.

Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless fourth inning for the Twins.

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