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Dempster yields three runs in final spring start

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Cole De Vries continued his outstanding spring Friday by tossing three shutout frames and the versatile Eduardo Escobar drove in three runs in the Twins' 8-3 victory over the Red Sox at Hammond Stadium.

De Vries, who is expected to open the season as the Twins' No. 4 starter, turned in three shutout frames, but he was lifted for precautionary reasons due to right forearm tightness. The right-hander walked one and struck out one, and the lone baserunner he allowed was erased on a double play.

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In seven Grapefruit League appearances, including four starts, De Vries was 3-0 with a 0.53 ERA and allowed just two runs (one earned) on four hits.

De Vries was 5-5 with a 4.11 ERA in 17 games with Minnesota last year.

The Twins grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning against Ryan Dempster, as Escobar drove home Chris Parmelee and Wilkin Ramirez with a double. Minnesota added another run in the fourth when Escobar singled home Ryan Doumit.

The Red Sox didn't get their second baserunner until the fifth inning, when Anthony Slama walked Will Middlebrooks. Slama then struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jonny Gomes.

Boston didn't get its first hit until Jacoby Ellsbury singled with one out in the sixth. Dustin Pedroia ended the shutout with an RBI single to right.

Dempster, who will start the third game of the regular season for the Red Sox on Thursday, worked the first four innings, allowing three runs on three hits. He struck out four and walked three.

Up next: The Red Sox close out their Grapefruit League with a 1:35 p.m. ET game, which will air free on MLB.TV, against the Twins at JetBlue Park on Saturday. Left-hander Felix Doubront is scheduled to pitch four innings in his final tune-up for the regular season.

Jim Hawkins is a contributor to

Boston Red Sox, Ryan Dempster, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia