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Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3
Clay Buchholz is showing signs that he is ready for the season. Mike Napoli is proving to his new Red Sox teammates that he can be a durable addition.
Buchholz pitched four scoreless innings, and Napoli played in consecutive games for first time this spring training and had a run-scoring single and a double, helping the Boston Red Sox over the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 Tuesday.
"Everything is starting to fall together," Buchholz said. "I was able to go out there and execute pitches, like one after another, a little bit better than the last time out and the time before that. I feel like it's all coming together for the spring, getting up and down a little bit more and the next time when I go out it'll be five innings. It's starting to feel more real now."
Napoli, diagnosed with avascular necrosis in both hips during his offseason contract negotiations with the Red Sox, is batting .429 (6 for 14) with two homers and six RBI.
Buchholz earned the win, going four scoreless innings, giving up three hits with a strikeout. In his recent side work, the Red Sox have tried to improve Buchholz's tempo.
"Better tempo once again, consistent with his last outing," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Eight of the 12 outs Buchholz recorded were on groundballs, including a double play to end the third with runners on first and second.
Yankees 3, Rays 1
Ivan Nova is more concerned with showing improvement than where he stands in his bid to be the Yankees' fifth starter.
The right-hander continued to make a case to begin the season in the rotation by pitching four scoreless innings during a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
"I'm not thinking about if I'm doing enough. I just know that I'm doing my job and pitching well," Nova said after yielding four hits, walking none and striking out two in his third exhibition start. He's allowed one run and eight hits over nine innings.
Nova is trying to make the rotation after faltering down the stretch last season, when he finished 12-8 with a 5.02 ERA last year - down from 16-4 the year before. His main competition is David Phelps, a 26-year-old right-hander, who has given up one run in 14 innings over four starts this spring.