Lowrie’s HR beats Arroyo, Reds

Published 2:45 am Friday, March 20, 2009

SARASOTA, Fla. — Jed Lowrie had another big game at the plate, hitting a two-run homer off Bronson Arroyo to lead the Boston Red Sox over the Cincinnati Reds 9-1 on Thursday night.

Arroyo was hit hard by his former team in the third inning. Lowrie’s second home run of the spring came with Rocco Baldelli on base. One out and one walk later, Chris Carter went deep.

Lowrie also doubled in the first, giving him a team-high 17 hits this spring.

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‘‘He’s been fun to watch. He didn’t get to some of those balls last year, especially late in the season,’’ Boston manager Terry Francona said.

Arroyo completed five innings for his longest stint of the spring.

‘‘Those guys have been killing us all spring,’’ Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. ‘‘Bronson threw the ball well besides those two home runs.’’

Arroyo allowed four runs and three hits with four walks and four strikeouts.

‘‘The walks killed me,’’ he said. ‘‘For some reason after the second inning, I was missing with my fastball. That’s been one of my problems, losing control of my fastball at times. I kept missing down, down. I fell behind. Then I get pigeonholed with my curveball.’’

Jon Lester pitched in his first Grapefruit League game in 10 days for the Red Sox. He worked on his changeup during a minor league game between outings.

Lester finished his longest outing of the spring, striking out six in 4 1-3 innings. He allowed one run, three hits and a walk. Cincinnati scored off him in the first inning.

‘‘I have first innings like that sometimes when I’m not in a rhythm yet,’’ Lester said. ‘‘I think they wanted to get me up five times and the next time we’ll go deeper in the game. I threw a couple of good changeups. We have some checkpoints as far as mixing pitches. I am pretty happy with where I am right now.’’

The Reds had their first sellout of their final spring training in Sarasota, with a crowd of 7,530.

The Red Sox scored a run off veteran reliever David Weathers and four more off closer Francisco Cordero.

Cordero, who had surgery on his ankle in September, had three straight scoreless outings before the Red Sox touched him up in the eighth inning.

‘‘He got ahead of hitters, then couldn’t get the ball where he wanted. He has to get his location. We need him. His ankle feels good. We have time to get his location back,’’ Baker said.

Boston rookie Daniel Bard, who can touch 100 mph on the radar gun, allowed a pair of singles but kept his record clean. He has not allowed a run in 11 innings.