Boston Red Sox: Angel Sanchez

Quick hits: Pirates 9, Red Sox 7

March, 19, 2010
3/19/10
7:34
PM ET
The outcome: David Ortiz hit his second spring home run and the Red Sox scored more runs than they had in the last four games combined, but they still fell to the Pirates, 9-7. An obviously weakened Josh Beckett, still fighting the effects of a flu that had kept him bedridden for four days, was knocked around for four runs on six hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings, but he considered it a W that he was able to throw 70 pitches.

The notable: Bill Hall went six more innings at short, handled three routine chances and turned a double play started by second baseman Angel Sanchez as the Sox look for further assurance that he can handle the position in the event he's needed.

Hall has logged most of his time at third base (15 innings) but now has played 11 at short, plus had time at second and both corner outfield positions.

Prospect update: Junichi Tazawa gave up a wind-aided home run to Rule 5 pick John Raynor in the eighth, but has placed himself in the mix for a spot in the bullpen.

“He can do different things,'' manager Terry Francona said before the game. "He can relieve, he can start, he holds runners. He’s another guy who has come a long way in a year.''

Tazawa is a Craig Shipley find, signed out of the Japanese industrial league. He projects to be in Pawtucket's starting rotation, but the Sox are giving him a long look in the pen.

"He’s a guy that not only is in a fight to maybe make our team, but someone we really think highly of,'' Francona said.

"Depending on what our needs are, he could always be a reliever.''

The Sox decision could depend on whether Manny Delcarmen begins to show progress in camp. His velocity still topped out at only 91 miles an hour on Wednesday, and while Francona said his issues were mechanical and that he was working on his delivery, mechanical issues typically don't account for such a significant drop in velocity.

Progress report: Daisuke Matsuzaka, back from a brief trip to Boston to witness the birth of his third child, a daughter, threw a 44-pitch bullpen Friday, said he felt good afterward, and Farrell said he is now slated to throw two innings in a minor-league game on Sunday.

Rather than face the Rays, a team the Sox will play 18 times this season -- there's a series between the teams every month -- John Lackey will throw in a minor-league game on Monday, Farrell said. Boof Bonser will face the Rays instead, with Michael Bowden making the trip to Jupiter to face the Cardinals in a split-squad makeup of the rainout there.

What's next: The Orioles are sending a split squad to face the Red Sox at City of Palms Park on Saturday. Tim Wakefield draws the start, but Delcarmen, scheduled in relief, bears watching.

Short hops: Minor-league utilityman Gil Velazquez has a broken bone at the base of his left thumb and is expected to miss "significant time," according to Francona ... Jacoby Ellsbury (throat) was feeling better and worked out Friday, Francona said ... The Pirates brought up third baseman Jeremy Farrell from minor-league camp to face the Sox. Jeremy's father is the Sox pitching coach. He singled in his only at-bat.

"You don't get to see him very often, but to see him in this setting is pretty special,'' said John Farrell, who planned to stick around afterward to have dinner with his son, an 8th-round draft choice of the club in 2008 who played in the Class A South Atlantic League last season.

"I appreciate the Pirates for bringing him over,'' he said.

Farrell hasn't seen his son, 23, play since spring training last season.

"He looks like he's in great shape. I know he loves what he's doing, we'll see where it takes him.''

This has been a week for coach-and-son reunions. On Tuesday in Kissimmee, Ron Johnson switched coaching boxes, from first to third, while his son Chris played third for the Astros.

"One of the weirdest feelings I've ever had on a ballfield,'' said Johnson, whose son is slated to play Triple-A after getting a big-league call-up last September, but is considered a good prospect.

"Nervousness, pride, confusion,'' Johnson said. " A great day.''

SPONSORED HEADLINES