April 04, 2015

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) Justin Masterson pitched five solid innings and the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 4-2 Saturday in a spring training wrapup.

Masterson gave up two runs and seven hits. He's expected to start Thursday at Philadelphia.

Twins starter Kyle Gibson allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings.

Pablo Sandoval, Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and Jemile Weeks drove in runs for the Red Sox. Boston went 17-12 this spring and begins the season Monday against the Phillies.

The Twins were 13-16 and open Monday at Detroit.

Both teams are dealing with pitching issues. For the Red Sox, it's injuries, and for the Twins, it's the loss of a key starter.

Boston will be without closer Koji Uehara (pulled hamstring) and No. 5 starter Joe Kelly, who are both on the disabled list. Minnesota will be missing Ervin Santana as he begins an 80-game PED suspension.

''We're not going to dwell on it,'' said Twins' Manager Paul Molitor after the Red Sox' 4-2 victory. ''We are leaving with a nice balanced team.''

Molitor is entering his first year as manager after replacing Ron Gardenhire, who was fired after last season. Minnesota is coming off its fourth straight year with at least 90 losses.

''We need to learn how to win,'' said Twins General Manager Terry Ryan. ''Starting pitching sets the tone.''

The Twins will send Phil Hughes to the mound Monday against the Tigers' David Price.

Santana, who would have been the Twins' No. 2 starter, was replaced in the rotation by Mike Pelfrey. The other starters are Ricky Nolasco, Tommy Milone and Kyle Gibson, who pitched six innings Saturday while allowing all four Boston runs.

''We open up in our division. We'd love to get off to a good start,'' Molitor said.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said that Edward Mujica would fill the closing role until Uehara returns. Farrell had said early in spring training that Mujica would get some chances to close, even before Uehara's injury. Farrell said the plan was to rest Uehara at times to keep him fresh.

Right-handed knuckleballer Steve Wright took Kelly's spot among the starters. He may not get a start, however, because Kelly, bothered by biceps issues, could be ready within the first couple of weeks of the season.

Clay Buchholz will pitch the opener for the Red Sox against the Phillies' Cole Hamels.

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STARTING TIME

Since there will be no designated hitter in the Red Sox-Phillies game, it is likely that David Oritz will start at first base. Boston has not officially released its opening day lineup but indications are that Ortiz will get the start over regular first baseman Mike Napoli.

Minnesota's first 15 games will all be against Central Division opponents.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Molitor said that the Twins are breaking camp healthy. Closer Glen Perkins was bothered by an oblique strain early in camp, but has totally recovered. ''Today was his best day,'' Molitor said, referring to Perkins' one inning of scoreless work.

UP NEXT

Twins: At Detroit on Monday.

Phillies: Host Boston on Monday.

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