Victorino’s clutch triple carries Sox past Phils

By Ian Browne / MLB.com | 3/21/2013 10:22 P.M. ET

 

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Shane Victorino, facing the Phillies for the first time since he was traded from his long-time team last July, belted a bases-clearing triple in the bottom of the seventh to lead the Red Sox to a 6-1 victory in Thursday night’s Grapefruit League contest at JetBlue Park.

After being traded from the Phillies to the Dodgers on July 31, 2012, Victorino signed a three-year, $39 million contract with Boston in December.

“Much like his first at-bat up in Bradenton the other day, he gets a fastball middle of the plate, puts a charge into it,” said manager John Farrell. “I think the more regular at-bats he gets, the better his timing is becoming. It was encouraging to see the hard contact. ”

Phillies lefty Cole Hamels looked ready for his Opening Day start by pitching six strong innings. The southpaw allowed four hits and a run while walking two and striking out five.

For the Red Sox, John Lackey continues to pass every test in his return from Tommy John surgery. The righty limited Philadelphia to four hits and a run over five innings, walking one and striking out one.

“I felt good with the ball being on the ground a lot,” said Lackey. “It was a good sign for me. I’m still throwing a majority fastballs, trying to build my arm strength up. It was nice.”

Sox lefty Andrew Miller was strong out of the ‘pen in the second of back-to-back appearances, striking out the only two batters he faced. Andrew Bailey fired a 1-2-3 inning.

After Michael Young gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the first with a fielder’s-choice grounder, Daniel Nava hit a sacrifice fly to tie it for the Sox in the second.

Veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins went 1-for-3 for the Phillies.

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