JUPITER, Fla. — Josh Beckett increased his repertoire of pitches for his second spring training start, and the result was similar to his first outing.
Beckett gave up two hits in three scoreless innings but the Boston Red Sox lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 9-3 on Thursday. He has allowed three hits and no runs in five innings this spring.
“I threw everything I wanted to throw,” said Beckett, who used mostly changeups and one curveball in his first outing. “It’s getting there. It’s a work in progress.”
Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia pitched two hitless innings in his first spring start, striking out four.
Garcia did not allow a ball out of infield and started the game by striking out Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia.
“He was nasty,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “He just had a great tempo. When he’s like that and that ball is kind of running, cutting, sinking all over the place it’s just no fun. You can just see. They can’t pick him up. It’s a gift.”
Beckett faced the Cardinals ‘A’ lineup, with the exception of Carlos Beltran, who was out with the flu. He allowed a long double by Matt Holliday and a single to Rafael Furcal.
“That’s a good lineup,” Beckett said. “They hit three balls hard. It’s nice kind of just gauging yourself even though it’s early on.”
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was pleased with Beckett’s day.
“He wanted to throw a few more curveballs, he did. A few changeups, he did,” Valentine said. “He did what he needed to do.”
Matt Adams and Shane Robinson each drove in three runs for the Cardinals.
The game was delayed 34 minutes in the fourth inning because of rain.
Adams, the reigning Texas League player of the year, has driven in seven runs in four games.
“The guy just has been taking good at bats all together,” Matheny said. “It’s just an approach and everybody around here has noticed.”
Garcia has won 26 games the last two years and said he’s approaching the spring as if he’s trying to make the team.
“I’m trying to make progress and just get better every single day,” Garcia said. “That’s all I think about. I don’t think about being established already.”
Jose Iglesias, who is trying to win the shortstop job for Boston, drove in all of the Red Sox runs with a bases clearing triple off Cardinals reliever Mitchell Boggs.
Iglesias made an impressive defensive play in the second inning, going to his right to rob David Freese of a hit.
“That ball was scalded,” Beckett said. “He’s pretty sick.”
NOTES: Valentine said the Red Sox will be meeting Friday morning to figure out a “nice plan” for Carl Crawford “so that he doesn’t overdo it.” Crawford is being held out this week because of inflammation in his surgically repaired wrist.