FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - Adrian Gonzalez finally hit the field for the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, and he made quite the first impression.
Gonzalez hit the first pitch of his first spring game into left field for a single and added a sacrifice fly in the second, helping Boston to a 9-2 victory over the Florida Marlins.
``You'd think that after that long away and coming off an injury, he'd be a little jumpy,' Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. ``But he was probably anything but that.'
The Red Sox acquired the big first baseman in a trade with San Diego in December but his spring debut was delayed for rehab on his surgically repaired right shoulder.
``I've been wanting to get in there but I wasn't going to get ahead of myself, either,' Gonzalez said. ``So when the day came, it was going to come and that day was (Saturday). It was exciting going to sleep (Friday) night and waking up this morning feeling good.'
Gonzalez said the shoulder is more of a concern on defense than at the plate, which is why he won't be diving for any balls in spring training.
Marlins ace Josh Johnson had a rough day, allowing five runs and nine hits in 3 2-3 innings. He struck out two and walked one.
``My goal was to go out there and try and throw a lot of changeups, get the hang of it, and I never did,' Johnson said. ``(I) couldn't throw it for a strike. Didn't really come close to the zone. It's a work in progress.'
Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez didn't seem concerned.
``J.J., he was working on pitches,' Rodriguez said. ``Mainly that's what he was doing, and I think he didn't have command. He was leaving his pitches up in the zone, but it was good to see him there and working on something.'
Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, who missed much of last season with injured ribs, went 3 for 3 with his first home run of the spring. He also scored three times and drove in three runs.
``He hit that home run, that was a pretty swing,' Francona said. ``That ball jumped out in a hurry. So I think it's pretty safe to say he feels pretty good about himself at the plate.'
John Lackey pitched 4 1-3 innings for the Red Sox, yielding one run and six hits. He struck out three and walked none.
``I kind of pitched more like I would during the season,' Lackey said. ``I incorporated a lot more pitches today, as opposed to the first two times I was pretty fastball heavy. So today it was more like a regular-season start and I was able to throw some off-speed pitches behind in the count and do some things that I need to do in the season.'
The Associated Press News Service
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