Hughes, slated to start Minnesota’s regular-season opener Monday in Detroit, struck out five, walked two and gave up one run and four hits in four innings against a squad that included starters Dustin Pedroia, Pablo Sandoval and Mike Napoli.

Buchholz, slated to start Boston’s regular-season opener in Philadelphia, struck out four, walked one and gave up six hits in four scoreless innings.

It’s night and day for me,” Buchholz said of how he felt compared to a year ago. “I feel like I’m under control. If I feel like if I’m off with something, I can make the adjustment a lot quicker than I did a year ago. Things are getting better each time out.”

Red Sox manager John Farrell said Buchholz has seemed more confident and poised. Last season, Buchholz missed most of June with a knee injury. He was 8-11 record with a 5.34 ERA last year.

“In the middle of February, that was noticed,” Farrell said of Buchholz’s improved confidence. “After a normal offseason being healthy and having an appropriate number of bullpens before coming into camp, he felt pretty good physically. Last year, it was maybe more effort for him to bring the velocity. Now he’s healthy and not trying to overthrow with his delivery.”

Pedroia went 2 for 3 with a walk and had the only multihit performance for the Red Sox.

Torii Hunter went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored for the Twins, while designated hitter Kennys Vargas had two hits. Eduardo Escobar started in left field in place of Oswaldo Arcia, who was out with the flu, and went 2 for 3 with two RBIs.

Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 7

FORT MYERS, Fla.— Drew Hutchison wondered two years ago if he could pitch effectively again. No need to worry any more.

Hutchison tuned up for his opening-day start at Yankee Stadium next week by pitching three scoreless innings Wednesday in the Toronto Blue Jays’ 9-7 win over a Boston Red Sox split squad.

“My arm is good,” said Hutchison, who missed the 2013 season after a Tommy John operation. “I had the surgery just over two years ago. … Now I am healthy.”

Hutchison allowed three hits, struck out one and walked one, lowering his ERA to 1.50. He starts Monday against the Yankees, who open with Masahiro Tanaka.

Hutchison went 11-13 with a 4.48 ERA last year, striking out 184 in 184 2-3 innings.

“I’m ready to build on last season,” he said.

Edwin Encanarcion hit a long home run, Ryan Goins also homered and Josh Donaldson hit a two-run double in the first off knuckleballer Steve Wright.

“A regular knuckleball that didn’t drop,” Wright said of Encarnacion’s drive. “It drops a half inch and he probably hits a topper. It didn’t, and it went 500 feet.”

Allen Craig hit an inside-the-park homer, Jeff Bianchi had a three-run double and Matt Spring a two-run double.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: