CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Justin Masterson was in a far better mood than most pitchers with his stat line.
Cord Phelps hit a three-run homer, Ryan Howard and Jordan Danks also connected, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Boston Red Sox 11-4 Sunday.
Masterson allowed six runs and seven hits in 3 1-3 innings for the Red Sox. The right-hander had given up only one hit in five innings before this start.
“I enjoyed this outing,” Masterson said. “It was my best outing this spring as far as getting work in like you’re supposed to in spring training.”
Masterson split last year between Cleveland and St. Louis before signing a $9.5 million, one-year deal to return to Boston. He’s coming off an injury-plagued season in which he was a combined 7-9 with a 5.88 ERA. Masterson was an All-Star in 2013.
“Last year, I sliced and diced in spring training and my season wasn’t very good,” Masterson said. “The year before, everyone was hitting homers off me and I did great. So, it just means I’m working, going through some stuff. Honestly, I was excited about the way things progressed.”
Odubel Herrara had three hits for Philadelphia, and Howard, Freddy Galvis, Chase Utley and Maikel Franco each had two hits.
Daniel Nava hit a two-run homer for Boston.
Philadelphia’s Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez allowed two runs and three hits in three innings.
Nava put the Red Sox up 2-0 in the first, driving a ball completely out of the park beyond the right-field fence.
Howard ripped an RBI double on a 1-2 pitch in the bottom half, and Carlos Ruiz followed with an RBI single off the right-field wall.
Danks hit a solo shot to right-center for a 3-2 lead, and Phelps chased Masterson with his drive.
“He put a good swing on it. I hope it helps him make the team,” Masterson joked about his buddy. “That doesn’t upset me. I didn’t groove it. He took it out.”
Howard hit his second homer in three days off lefty Wade Miley in the sixth.
“It’s still all a work in progress and just trying to continue to work out the kinks and get (at-bats) together and continue to try and mount it up and get it ready for April,” Howard said. “I had some good at-bats. I felt like I got in front of some balls, but all in all, still in great position.”
Red Sox: After Masterson pitched, Miley finished. Miley is projected as the fourth starter behind Masterson in the rotation. He gave up four runs and six hits in four innings.
Phillies: Gonzalez hasn’t made a strong case for the starting rotation, but could end up in the bullpen.
“I think he’s showing health and showing some progress, mixing up his pitches,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart went 2 for 3 with an RBI single. The talented prospect has been linked in trade rumors involving the Phillies and Cole Hamels.
“Just my turn to catch,” Swihart said of making the start behind the plate.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Harang, who was scratched from two starts because of lower back discomfort, remains day to day. He’s scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday. Harang signed a $5 million, one-year contract during the offseason and has been slated to be their No. 3 starter. Cliff Lee’s elbow injury could move him into the No. 2 spot behind Cole Hamels.
“He’s feeling better,” Sandberg said.
RHP Chad Billingsley threw another bullpen session and could pitch in a game after a few more. Billingsley is returning from two elbow surgeries.
Red Sox: RHP Joe Kelly goes against the New York Mets. Kelly has struggled in his first two starts, giving up six runs and 10 hits over 4 2-3 innings.
Phillies: Hamels will face Baltimore in his third start of the spring. He has allowed two runs and three hits in five innings.
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