FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The new closer will get plenty of chances to pitch with the game on the line -- the crowd roaring with every pitch.
But Joel Hanrahan was able to make his first appearance in a Red Sox uniform in a far more laid-back circumstance.
The righty drew a one-inning start on Thursday afternoon against Northeastern University and got what he needed out of the exercise, working his way around two baserunners (single, hit batsman) in a scoreless inning of the Red Sox's 3-0 victory at JetBlue Park.
"You can't ever prepare for the adrenaline during the season," said Hanrahan. "This is a step above live batting practice. It's a little bit different than, say, the normal Spring Training game, but you still have another team out there trying to get hits off you. It's good in that sense, but you can't ever emulate a game."
For those who thought Hanrahan would just blow through the Huskies, there was a bit of a surprise when leadoff man Aaron Barbosa lined a single into left-center field.
It's a play Jonny Gomes will make most of the time, but being that it was the first inning of the first Spring Training game, the left fielder didn't get the best read on the ball.
"You know, it was bad execution of a pitch," Hanrahan said. "That was the hardest part for me. I had the guy 0-2 and tried to go up on him and threw it right down the middle. I laughed it off, had a good time with it, and that's part of the game."
Of course, Barbosa created the memory of a lifetime.
"I think I heard him on second base telling [Dustin Pedroia] that he closed his eyes," Hanrahan said. "I just kind of threw it out there. That's all right. He didn't score. That's the main thing."