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March 5, 2013

Red Sox Doubront gives up 1 hit in first start

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Finally on the mound for a spring training game, Felix Doubront was pleased with his outing.

Doubront, slowed a sore left shoulder this year, pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings for the Boston Red Sox on Monday in a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

“Feels fine,” Doubront said of his shoulder. “It’s good to be back on the mound again, working hard to see the results for my arm. Very good.”

Doubront gave up one hit, walked two and struck out two, throwing 23 of 43 pitches for strikes.

“When you look at his fastball, breaking ball, as well as a couple of changeups that he threw. Ideally you’d like to see him get through a couple of innings in his first outing,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “But the fact is, he got up and down twice, no physical issues.”

Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, making his first start and second appearance of spring training, allowed one run and two hits in three innings with four strikeouts. He threw 31 of 43 pitches for strikes.

“I’m very happy,” Hellickson said. “My arm feels great. Everything feels good. All my stuff feels really good.”

Loser Jeff Niemann followed Hellickson and allowed one run in 2 2-3 innings.

“I felt all right out there,” said Niemann, who has not worked out of the bullpen in the regular season since 2010. “It’s a little bit different coming out of the bullpen. But overall everything went well. I was throwing strikes, making them put the ball in play.”

Rays manager Joe Maddon liked what he saw from his first two pitchers.

“I thought Jeff and Hellickson were both very sharp,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon. “Helly was really sharp, good velocity, good breaking ball, curve and change. And I thought the same of Jeff.”

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