Originally posted on Fenway West  |  Last updated 3/4/12

The Red Sox took the first game of Spring Training and more importantly, the first game of the Mayor's Cup.  Of course, NESN informed us that the Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that since the Sox moved that he thinks the Mayor's Cup no longer applies and even if we "win" he is not giving us the Cup.  I think that might cause a revolt Ron!!  So...if and when we win the Cup, we had better GET THE CUP!

Josh Beckett started the game for the Sox.  He pitched two scoreless inning.  He gave up a hit to start the game and then walked two batters in the 2nd.  Beckett and Valentine both said he was working on his changeup, so he probably threw more of them then he would in a regular season game.  Beckett was also caught by Jarrod Saltalamacchia.  Beckett was asked about 400 questions about how he is transitioning from not being caught by Varitek when he came to meet with the media. 

Andrew Miller took the mound next for the Sox.  I was very impressed with his outing.  Miller is well known for issuing way too many walks.  Miller walked the first batter he saw, but then he K'ed the next three to retire the side.  Miller had a productive second inning as well with a 1-2-3 inning.  If this is how Miller is going to pitch, then I say he's definitely in the running for the 5th starter job. 

Melancon was up next.  I'll be honest, I watched him pitch with the Yankees and was not impressed.  So, I hope he proves me wrong and ends up being worth trading Jed Lowrie for.  However, he did nothing in this outing to change my perception of him.  Melancon gave up a run on two hits and didn't have a sharp inning.  He was followed by Justin Thomas, Tony Pena and Scott Atchison.  Pena also gave up a run and struggled through his inning.  Atchy gave up a run in the 9th inning, but the game was well in hand by that point. 

However, the bats got the win for the Sox.  The Sox first took the lead in the 4th by a 2 run RBI by Aviles.  If he continues to show himself like this, it looks like the starting SS job is all but his.  The Twins tied it up 2-2 in the top of the 7th, however the Sox would break out the score in the bottom of the inning.  To say that the Twins pitcher Bulger struggled would be an understatement.  He gave up 4 walks and then gave up a grand slam to Lars Anderson.  Poor Lars.  He really needs to get traded to a team where he has a shot of making it up to the major leagues.  He's a talented kid, but with Gonzalez at first base, there is just no place for him.

Even when it is a spring training game, I love a Red Sox baseball game that ends with hearing Dirty Water.

Red Sox 8  Twins 3  BOXSCORE

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