Koji Uehara picks up where he left off; Mike Carp, Bryce Brentz go deep; Brandon Workman struggles in start

Rob Bradford
March 03, 2014 - 2:02 pm

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It's been a full year now. Most will remember that Koji Uehara cruised through the second half of 2013, along with a memorable postseason run. But what might easier to forget is that the image portrayed by the Sox' closer started during spring training of last season. In his first Grapefruit League experience as a member of the Red Sox, Uehara finished the '13 exhibition schedule allowing no runs on four hits while striking out 12 and walking two in his 9 2/3 innings (10 appearances). Monday in Bradenton, there was more of the same. Uehara breezed through his first spring training inning of the new season, needing 14 pitches to retire all three Pirate batters he faced. The righty threw 10 strikes in fanning a pair. "He continues on, that'€™s the best you can say," said Red Sox manager John Farrell after his team's 7-6 loss to Pittsburgh. "He continues on. And after four or five months down, he picks up where he left off and he'€™s just a joy to watch pitch." Also turning in a flawless inning was reliever Junichi Tazawa, who was making his spring training debut, as well. - Brandon Workman struggled, making the start in place of Jake Peavy. (For an update on Peavy's finger laceration, click here.) The righty allowed five runs in just 2 1/3 innings. "I thought he showed good definition with three different pitches but when he mislocated or elevated a couple times they made him pay for it," Farrell said of Workman, who was making his second appearance of the spring. "But we got him out for the start of the third inning and as we continue to stretch him out, we got him to 45 or so pitches, a solid work day, even though the results might not be what we anticipated." - Catcher A.J. Pierzynski was forced from the game in the seventh inning after rolling an ankle heading back to the bag on a pickoff attempt. Before exiting, Pierzynski managed a pair of hits in three at-bats. "He rolled that ankle once again. He rolled it while it was in the dirt," Farrell explained. "It was a little discomfort, similar to earlier in camp when we had to pull him out for a couple days so it'€™s something he'€™s managing and trying to support it best he can. "He wasn'€™t going to play and he had three days down because he'€™s not going to go to the east coast to Jupiter as well so he'€™ll have three days to get any kind of soreness he has worked out. We don'€™t expect anything." - The offensive standouts for the Red Sox were Mike Carp and Bryce Brentz, who each homered. - Clay Buchholz will get the start Tuesday against the Rays, scheduled to go one inning.