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Red Sox Fall To Braves, 6-1

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John Lackey

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FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) _ Tim Hudson gave up a run in two innings in his spring debut, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Boston Red Sox 6-1 on Wednesday.

Hudson two hits and a walk with one strikeout, throwing 34 pitches, including 21 for strikes.

“Just throw strikes and try to pound the strike zone,” Hudson said of his approach to his first outing. “I feel like I did that for the most part. My two-seamer felt pretty good. Command with it for the most part was good, at times I left some pitches up a little bit for balls.

“I feel all right. It was a step in the right direction. I’m obviously not where I want to be. But all-in-all it was a positive
day.”

Braves third baseman Ed Lucas went 3 for 3 with a walk and run scored. Alex Gonzalez and Shawn Bowman each hit their first spring home runs, both solo shots.

Craig Kimbrel got the win for the Braves, pitching a scoreless fourth inning, giving up one hit.

“I’ve been really, really pleased with all the starters, and the relievers, too” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Other than that one game (against the Mets) they’ve been throwing strikes. We start the second time back through the rotation tomorrow with (Jair Jurrjens) and hopefully that trend continues.”

John Lackey started for the Red Sox and gave up four hits– including Gonzalez’s homer –in two innings. He threw 41 pitches, including 25 strikes.

“I just want to feel four-seam rotation and work on the arm strength first time out,” he said.

Kyle Weiland took the loss for the Red Sox, going two innings, giving up a run on three hits with three strikeouts.

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz had three hits and drove in a run. He surprised the Braves with a stolen base after leading off the fourth inning with a single to right against the shift.

With left-handed hitting J.D. Drew at the plate, Ortiz stole second base standing up.

In three games this spring, Ortiz is 5 for 8 with four RBIs.

“He’s certainly short to the ball right now and he’s not trying to muscle up and he’s keeping everything fair,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “(He’s) getting the barrel to the ball real good right now. Nice short swing. He’s barreled up what, five, six balls the last three games. I would say that’s a good approach any time of the year.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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