Middlebrooks, Lackey lead Red Sox over Twins


Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Will Middlebrooks went 2 for 3 and John Lackey tossed 6 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball as the Red Sox topped the Twins 4-1 at Jet Blue Park in Thursday night action.

Middlebrooks tripled to the center field triangle in the fifth and doubled off the wall in the seventh, scoring Xander Bogaerts with the go-ahead run. The third baseman raised his spring average to .362 and now leads the Sox in runs, hits, home runs and batting average this spring.

Lackey allowed four hits and a walk and struck out six in his final regular season tune up. Both John Farrell and Twins’ skipper Ron Gardenhire praised Lackey’s effort (Gardenhire: “he threw the [expletive] out of the ball”). Edward Mujica was the beneficiary of Middlebrooks’ seventh inning screamer, picking up the win. Koji Uehara closed things out and got his first save of spring training.

Mike Napoli had two hits and Grady Sizemore continued his strong spring with two of his own. A.J. Pierzynski opened the scoring with an RBI double in the second.

The Sox also evened things up in the Chairman’s Cup standings (it still doesn’t feel right to call it that — bring back the Mayor’s Cup!) They are 2-2 against Minnesota in spring action, with two games remaining, Friday afternoon at Jet Blue and Saturday afternoon at the Twins’ Hammond Stadium.

Notebook: There was a moment of silence before the game to honor fallen Boston firefighters Edward Walsh and Michael Kennedy…Craig Breslow pitched an inning in a minor league game yesterday. He will start the season on the disabled list, retroactive to March 21. Steven Wright also hits the DL due to hernia surgery…Farrell indicated Daniel Nava will likely hit leadoff against righthanded pitching. He was in the top slot yesterday…if you’re worried about Shane Victorino, don’t be. He also played in the minor league contest and swiped a base…