TAMPA, Fla. -- Takeaways from George M. Steinbrenner Field, where Mike Carp weathered a bee invasion in left field, Jacoby Ellsbury remained in the safety of the Yankees’ clubhouse, Felix Doubront exercised his spring training prerogative to achieve little but to get his work in, and rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts really can be mentioned in the same sentence as his hero, Derek Jeter, at least when it comes to their spring training batting averages (X-man .143, Jetes .147).
The result: Yankees 8, Red Sox 1, in a game in which Ellsbury sat out with a sore right calf and most of the Sox regulars skipped the two-hour bus trip. Ellsbury is not expected to make the trip to Fort Myers for Thursday night’s return engagement.
A real “B” game: Play was interrupted in the bottom of the third for seven minutes when a swarm of bees in the left-field corner caused Carp to take flight.
“Not a big fan of bees flying around my head,’’ said Carp, who repositioned himself in center field while groundskeepers employed chemical weapons to neutralize the invaders. “I’m sure they’ll get their laughs on ESPN tonight.’’
Carp estimated there may have been a “couple thousand” bees, who had the Sox bullpen ready to bolt back inside in case they turned hostile. He said he had to figure out how to alert the umpires.
“Pulled out the whistle, got ahold of him,’’ he said, referring to third base umpire Vic Carapazza. “Luckily they stopped the game and didn’t make me hang out there too much longer.’’
When play resumed, Francisco Cervelli hit Doubront’s next pitch into left for a triple.
“That was weird,’’ Doubront said of the interruption. “First time we stopped a game for bees. That was funny.’’
Doubie and the dead arm: The term “dead arm’’ is more sinister sounding than intended, suggesting an expiring appendage about to fall off like a rotting tree branch. Every pitcher goes through it, especially in spring, when the arm just feels fatigued and can’t execute pitches in customary fashion. Sox manager John Farrell suspects that was the case Tuesday for Doubront, who was charged with 7 runs on 10 hits and 3 walks in 3 2/3 innings. Doubront had not allowed a run in his first two starts (six innings total), allowing just three hits while not walking a batter and striking out six. He had two punchouts Tuesday.
“He didn’t have as much finish to his pitches as we’ve seen in his first couple of outings,’’ Farrell said. “Quite possibly we’re in that part of camp where he’s battling through a bit of dead arm, which is completely normal and expected.
“But we got him up to 80 pitches, which is in line with the progression we’re trying to get him.’’
Told that Doubront said he struggled with his release point, Farrell said, “Didn’t see the consistent tempo we’d seen the first starts he’s made. It was a challenge for him to get into the flow of the game today.’’
Doubront, currently slotted in the third spot in the Sox rotation, is scheduled for two more Grapefruit League starts.
X files: Bogaerts went hitless in three at-bats, striking out once. Overall, he is 4-for-28, which compares favorably to Jeter’s 5-for-34. The Sox are as worried about Bogaerts as the Yankees are about Jeter, maybe less so, since he’s got 19 years on the Yankees’ captain. They like the way he has played short this spring, and believe he has maintained a pretty good approach at the plate. The results will come.
JBJ report: Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded out sharply in the first and doubled in the third off Yankees starter Michael Pineda, the former Mariners star coming back from shoulder surgery who gave up four hits while pitching 4 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out in his last two at-bats, one on a full-count pitch that would have knocked a carnation off his lapel had he been wearing one. He has a team-leading 11 whiffs, though he also has more at-bats (37) than anyone else on the team. His batting average is .189.
“What we’re honing in on is not a batting average but the quality of the at-bats,’’ Farrell said. “And they’re getting more consistent.’’
Still, the excitement Bradley Jr. generated last spring has been usurped this year by the performance of veteran Grady Sizemore, although last year Bradley gladly would have given back some of his Florida hits for a few more in April.
Dot, dot, dots: Left-handed reliever Craig Breslow is scheduled to face hitters Friday, then make his first game appearance on Monday. Will that leave him with enough time before the club breaks camp? Logic says no; Farrell said we’ll see. Breslow began last season on the DL and didn’t join the Sox until May 6. He went on to post a career-best 1.81 ERA in 61 appearances. ... If Farrell sticks with his stated preference for three lefties in the bullpen, that could leave a spot open for rookie Drake Britton or perhaps sleeper candidate Tommy Layne, who pitched a scoreless eighth Tuesday and is unscored upon in six spring appearances. Layne is a nonroster invitee who made 42 appearances over the last two seasons with the Padres. Andrew Miller and Chris Capuano appear assured of spots. One scout noted that with the rash of Tommy John injuries that have ravaged teams in the last week or so, a veteran starter such as Capuano would have been in much greater demand than he was when the Sox signed him earlier this spring. The Sox are likely to hear a few offers for Capuano, though he looms as a valuable commodity in their own plans as rotation depth and a bullpen piece. ... The White Sox are keeping an eye on Ryan Lavarnway, who started at first base Tuesday, as a potential fit at catcher. Tyler Flowers, who is coming off shoulder surgery, has been named the team’s Opening Day catcher by manager Robin Ventura, out of a group that includes Hector Gimenez, Adam Nieto and Josh Phegley. Lavarnway, who singled in three trips Tuesday, has been swinging the bat with authority in camp, and if teams are convinced he could be a 20-homer man, they might be willing to overlook whatever inadequacies he has behind the plate. With Christian Vazquez and Daniel Butler likely to split time in Pawtucket at catcher and highly regarded prospect Blake Swihart ready for Double-A, the Sox are turning Lavarnway into a hybrid catcher-first baseman-DH. The Sox would be selling low if they traded him now, and don’t want to see him blossom elsewhere into the power hitter they envisioned a couple of years ago. ... Jake Peavy is scheduled to start Wednesday night against the Pirates.