Lackey, Middlebrooks lead Red Sox past Twins

Boston Red Sox Will Middlebrooks hits an RBI double to bring in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning of an exhibition baseball game against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers, Fla., Thursday, March 27, The Red Sox won 4-1.2014. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — John Lackey pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning, Will Middlebrooks had two extra-base hits and the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Thursday night.

Lackey, the team’s No. 2 starter, gave up four hits with a walk and six strikeouts over 6 1-3 innings in his final tuneup for the regular season.

“He had his sharpest outing of the spring,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He goes into the start of the season in very good shape. He had good power and good action to his breaking ball. He also had his cutter and curveball working. It was a very productive spring from John.”

Kevin Correia, the Twins’ No. 2 starter, allowed one run and six hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out one.

“Correia threw the ball very well,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Changed speeds, used his splitter. We’re throwing the ball just fine. We’re not swinging, not getting too much offensively. Got to keep swinging. Got a few guys struggling right now, and we’ve got to get them swinging. Like to see a few hits before we start.”

Middlebrooks went 2 for 3 with a double and a triple. He drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the seventh and is batting .362 this spring (17 for 47).

Aaron Hicks had two hits for the Twins, driving in their only run with a seventh-inning double. He is hitting .340 this spring (16 for 47).

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz went 0 for 2 with a strikeout, dropping his average to .054 (2 for 37) with 13 strikeouts.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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