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Tate Matheny faces father's team for 2nd time

Travis launches pair of homers; Cora in contact with Kimbrel as daughter recovers
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- For the second time this week, manager Alex Cora made sure that Tate Matheny got to play against his father Mike, the manager of the Cardinals. After coming off the bench for Tuesday's home game, Tate Matheny started Friday's 9-6 road win in the leadoff spot and spent the entire game at designated hitter.

Tate walked three times and scored a run while going 0-for-2. Mike Matheny took it all in while seated on a bench just to the left of the St. Louis dugout.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- For the second time this week, manager Alex Cora made sure that Tate Matheny got to play against his father Mike, the manager of the Cardinals. After coming off the bench for Tuesday's home game, Tate Matheny started Friday's 9-6 road win in the leadoff spot and spent the entire game at designated hitter.

Tate walked three times and scored a run while going 0-for-2. Mike Matheny took it all in while seated on a bench just to the left of the St. Louis dugout.

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"It was awesome," said Tate Matheny. "It's kind of what you dream of as a kid, to get to do stuff like that. It was really special that my first big league start was against him, it's really cool."

Video: BOS@STL: Benintendi doubles, Matheny scores on error

Tate isn't on Boston's Major League roster in Spring Training, but he was called up for the day as a Minor League extra.

"I know during the season, there's no way [Mike] is going to be able to see him, so I think this is a good way for him to at least see him get four at-bats and perform," said Cora. "I wanted his dad to see him get as many at-bats as possible, which is why he was leading off."

Travis blasts a pair

Red Sox prospect Sam Travis, who has made a habit of putting up big numbers in Spring Training, was at it again in Friday's 9-6 win over the Cardinals. The first baseman bashed two opposite-field homers.

Video: BOS@STL: Travis homers twice off Cardinals pitching

Though the Red Sox like Travis as a hitter, there is no spot available for him on the roster with Hanley Ramirez and Mitch Moreland already locked in at first base.

"He's a good hitter and an intense player," said Cora. "He's one of those guys who fights every pitch. I know they all do, but I see him in the dugout and he's very intense. His ability to hit the ball all over the place, we've seen it already. He can pull it for power, he goes the other way with power and he puts up good at-bats, quality at-bats."

Cora said the Red Sox will try to get Travis some work in the outfield to expand his versatility.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Injury updates

Righty reliever Austin Maddox, who performed well for the Red Sox in his first taste of the big leagues, hasn't pitched yet in Spring Training due to right shoulder inflammation.

"Actually he played catch yesterday," said Cora. "Everything was fine. I know he's a little behind on the schedule, but it seems like, for now, he'll be back on the schedule, and hopefully we can see him on the mound sooner rather than later."

Thoughts are with Kimbrel's daughter

Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel texted Cora after his daughter, Lydia Joy, had heart surgery back in Boston. Lydia Joy had her first heart surgery back in November, when she was four days old. She was born with heart defects. Kimbrel will stay in Boston until further notice.

"Got a text this morning," said Cora. "Lydia, she's a fighter. She's fighting. Keep your thoughts and prayers with the Kimbrel family. We're all together in this. It's not easy. I just got the text from [Kimbrel]. I texted him today. 'God is in control,' and he sent me a text, 'She's fighting, she's good,' so that's where we're at."

Up next

Lefty Brian Johnson will get another chance to make a positive impression in his bid to win the fifth spot in the rotation when he starts Saturday's home game against the Yankees at 1:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV. However, he won't get the opportunity to face Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton. The feared sluggers aren't on the travel roster. The Yankees are sending Greg Bird, Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Sam Travis