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Red Sox break out bats for Adrian's debut

Red Sox break out bats for Adrian's debut

Red Sox break out bats for Adrian's debut
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- As quickly as the Red Sox jumped on Marlins ace Josh Johnson, Adrian Gonzalez's 2011 Grapefruit League debut came and went Saturday afternoon in a 9-2 Boston win at City of Palms Park.

Taking it slow this spring as he worked his way back from offseason surgery on his right shoulder, Gonzalez singled to the opposite field on the first pitch he saw from Johnson, who allowed five runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings.

"Josh Johnson is a guy who has a great fastball, so you can't give him anything," Gonzalez said. "My game plan was just to go up there and look for a fastball that I could get on top of, and I was able to execute that first pitch."

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Gonzalez's second and last at-bat came a little sooner than might have been expected, in the second inning. He hit a sacrifice fly to center that capped a three-run frame, and Drew Sutton came out to play first base before the start of the third, with Boston up, 4-1.

Johnson's first Grapefruit League start was rough on March 2 -- four runs in 1 2/3 innings -- but he bounced back to allow just one run in 3 2/3 innings to the Braves on Monday. Johnson's start Saturday more closely resembled his first.

The top two hitters in the Red Sox's lineup, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia, gave Johnson the most trouble. Both went 3-for-3 off him.

Ellsbury had two doubles and a solo home run, his first long ball of the spring. He hit the homer to right off Johnson on a 1-1 count and one out in the fifth. Pedroia singled three times.

John Lackey allowed one run on six hits in 4 1/3 innings for Boston, striking out three and walking none. Both starters threw 75 pitches, and Lackey threw 49 strikes -- one more than Johnson.

The Red Sox piled on in the middle innings, scoring one apiece in the fourth and fifth and three in the sixth. The score was again lopsided, but Florida's defense was at least improved from Friday's 10-0 loss to the Mets. The Marlins made just one error Saturday: center fielder Dewayne Wise tried to double off a runner at first base when no one was covering in the second.

Up next for the Marlins: Florida returns to Roger Dean Stadium for a 1:05 p.m. ET start against the Nationals on Sunday, as Ricky Nolasco will make his Grapefruit League debut against the Nats' Jordan Zimmermann in a game broadcast on MLB.TV.

Up next for the Red Sox: Josh Beckett starts in a 1:05 p.m. ET road game against the Pirates in Bradenton, Fla., on Sunday on MLB.TV. Scott Atchison, Andrew Miller and Daniel Bard are scheduled to appear. Right-hander Brad Lincoln will start for the Pirates.

Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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