FORT MYERS, Fla. — Former Augusta GreenJacket Jon Lester allowed one hit over three scoreless innings in his delayed first spring training start and David Ortiz hit his first home run of the exhibition season Monday as the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2.
Lester pitched 248 innings last year in the regular- and postseason combined, and the Red Sox wanted to bring him along slowly this spring training. He struck out four and walked one against the Rays.
TIGERS: Two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera hit his first two home runs of spring training and AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer struck out five in 4⅔ scoreless innings during a 7-5 win over St. Louis.
CARDINALS: Introduced new Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, although it might take a while before he gets into a game.
Later this week, Diaz, 23, will return to Mexico to finalize his work visa. He signed to a four-year contract over the weekend.
LINEUP FLAP: The dust up between Boston and Miami seems to have simmered down.
The Marlins were upset last Thursday when the World Series champion Red Sox sent a team full of minor leaguers to an exhibition game in Jupiter.
Jackie Bradley Jr. was the only Boston regular who made the 2½-hour trip across the state. Road teams are supposed to have at least four top-tier players in the lineup.
The Marlins complained to Major League Baseball. The Red Sox were disciplined by MLB – a fine is usually the penalty.
FOX TELECASTS: Former pitcher John Smoltz will work as an analyst for Fox’s Major League Baseball telecasts.
Smoltz will be paired with broadcaster Matt Vasgersian on Fox and Fox Sports 1, the networks said Monday.
They join a group that includes Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds, Tom Verducci, Erin Andrews, Ken Rosenthal, Kenny Albert and Thom Brennaman.
An eight-time All-Star and the 1996 NL Cy Young Award winner, Smoltz will continue to work for the MLB Network.