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Red Sox sweep doubleheader against Northeastern, BC

02/21/2013 9:03 PM ET
By Joe Auriemma
The Boston Red Sox started Spring Training in strong fashion with a doubleheader sweep on Thursday ... against Northeastern University and Boston College.

In the early game, Boston took on Northeastern and started new closer Joel Hanrahan. It was his first start of any game since Sept. 23, 2007, and Hanrahan looked a little rusty right off the bat.

Northeastern's Aaron Barbosa led off the game with a single, but that was all Hanrahan let up as he struck out two in the inning. Boston's closer will go back to his regular role and be part of the strength of the Red Sox in 2013. He is the anchor of a bullpen that includes a healthy Andrew Bailey, Daniel Bard, who is looking to bounce back, and newly acquired Koji Uehara.

Designated hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia opened the scoring for Boston with an RBI-double in the first and the Red Sox never looked back.

Boston won the game, 3-0, which is a major improvement on the 25-0 dominating victory last year over Northeastern. Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Shane Victorino all were at the top of the order to start the game for the Red Sox.

The nightcap victory over Boston College was a little more lopsided as the Red Sox took care of business, 11-1. Most of the Red Sox starters had been pulled for this game. However, catcher Dan Butler hit a two-run homer as part of an eight-run third inning. Shannon Wilkerson, who has only 16 round trippers in 359 Minor League games, added a two-run shot of his own in the fifth.

The 26-year-old Butler is vying for a spot on the Red Sox roster as a backup catcher, but he will most likely start in Triple-A Pawtucket, where he's only played 25 games in three separate seasons.

Non-roster invitee and Boston College alumnus Terry Doyle pitched the final two innings for the Red Sox.

Boston is now 11-0 against Northeastern, beating them by a combined score of 139-6. They are perfect in all 23 meetings with Boston College, defeating them by a combined score of 218-41. Boston's Spring Training against Major League opponents begins Saturday against the Rays.

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