WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Red Sox and the Nationals rolled out lineups nearly full of their projected Opening Day starters for Tuesday afternoon's game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. A pair of first-inning home runs and a three-run fourth inning led Boston to a 5-3 victory.
Mookie Betts started the action with his first homer of the spring, and Hanley Ramirez followed with a solo home run of his own off Nats right-hander Joe Ross, who held the Red Sox to two runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings with three strikeouts and a walk.
"I was kind of searching for some mechanics and things like that," Ross said. "It was a little bit of everything today, honestly. A few I was flying open, wasn't quite getting all the way to my balance point and my load on some of the pitches, so just kind of searching."
The Nationals scored a pair of runs off left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez on RBI doubles from Anthony Rendon in the first and Wilmer Difo in the second inning. Rodriguez completed three innings and gave up two runs on four hits with two strikeouts.
"I feel really good," said Rodriguez. "The only pitch that was a little out of control was the changeup. I wanted to throw it more up in the zone but it was down, so they were just looking at it."
Pablo Sandoval broke the 2-2 tie with a two-run single in the fourth inning. Jackie Bradley Jr. showed off his impressive speed and awareness when he scored from second base after the next batter, Blake Swihart, hit a grounder back to the mound that resulted in a fielder's choice.
Red Sox Up Next: Right-hander Rick Porcello makes his second start of Spring Training on MLB.TV in Wednesday's 1:10 p.m. ET contest at Port St. Lucie, Fla., against the Mets. Porcello, last year's American League Cy Young Award winner, will face a former Heisman Trophy winner as Tim Tebow comes over from Minor League camp for New York to start at DH. Andrew Benintendi will be the most prominent regular in Boston's lineup. Catcher Christian Vazquez is also on the trip, along with top prospectsSam Travis and Rafael Devers.
Nationals Up Next:Stephen Strasburg will make his second Grapefruit League start as the Nationals face the Cardinals on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. ET at Roger Dean Stadium in an MLB.TV broadcast. He struck out three in two scoreless innings while pitching entirely from the stretch during his first outing, a mechanical change that he hopes will make it easier to repeat his delivery.
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