Red Sox beat the Yankees

March 13, 2009 9:42:57 PM PDT
Mike Lowell was pleased with his first spring start in the field. The Boston third baseman, recovering from hip surgery last October, homered on the first pitch of his first at bat, and the Red Sox beat the New York Yankees 8-4 Friday night.

Lowell, who played four innings in the field, got his first chance early, handling Xavier Nady's shot in the first for an inning-ending double play.

"I felt like I moved around pretty good," Lowell said. "I think the toughest ball was the first one, a hard kind of in-between hop. Stayed with it good. So I didn't really think about my hip much playing in the field. That's what I want to do. I don't want to be thinking, 'What if it's hit this way? I got to do this?' I don't want to compensate or do anything different."

Lowell went 2-for-2 at the plate, getting both is at-bats in Boston's seven-run second inning. He led off with the home run and singled to short center field later in the inning.

Tim Wakefield picked up his first spring win, allowing four runs and five hits over 2 1-3 innings. He walked three and struck out three while throwing 64 pitches.

"I felt great physically, no problems," Wakefield said. "(The knuckleball) had a lot of movement, almost too much movement. I couldn't throw strikes today. Got behind on a lot of hitters. I got to (64) pitches a little quicker than I wanted to."

The Red Sox sent 10 men to the plate in the second inning, chasing Yankee starter Chien-Ming Wang after 1 2-3 innings. Wang gave up seven runs - one earned - and six hits.

"Everything was flat," Wang said. "Arm was behind my body.

Second inning, ball (was) up. I still need to work in the bullpen.

I'm not worried about it."

Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo, who missed the last half of last season after injuring his left quad running out a ninth-inning infield single July 11 against the Orioles, was taken out after playing the top of the first inning in the field. He was sent for an MRI.

Ivan Ochoa replaced Lugo and went 2-for-4 and scored a run.

It was the first time Wakefield worked with catcher George Kottaras in a game. Josh Bard had caught Wakefield's previous outings.

"It's no big deal," Wakefield said of adjusting to another catcher. "They both caught me on the side. I'm comfortable throwing to both of them. But this is George's first time catching me in a game, and I thought he did a great job."

Notes: Lowell, who had surgery Oct. 20 to repair the torn right hip labrum, is scheduled to play in the field again Sunday against the Orioles. ... Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, who was expected to start in Fort Lauderdale against the Orioles on Saturday, was scratched from that start and will pitch in an intrasquad game at the team's minor league complex. ... Yankees manager Joe Girardi said if the regular season was underway, he would lean toward having DH Hideki Matsui bat fourth with 3B Alex Rodriguez (right hip surgery) out until sometime in May.