FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-handers Ryan Dempster and Daniel Bard both would have rather never gotten into jams, but in Spring Training, pitching through them can be a helpful refresher for the regular season.
Neither was complaining Thursday afternoon after the Red Sox's 7-3 win over the Twins at Hammond Stadium.
Bard's fourth Grapefruit League appearance came in the sixth inning with Boston leading 5-1. Chris Parmelee walked on a pitch that Red Sox manager John Farrell second-guessed and Joe Benson singled.
"The one thing you might say, the 3-2 pitch, he ended up going to a breaking ball to walk a guy when he was throwing a good fastball," Farrell said. "That's part of Spring Training, getting the mind in shape as much as the body."
Things worked out, as Bard retired the next three -- albeit the hitters probably won't be on Minnesota's Opening Day roster.
"I think it forces you to bear down a little bit, which is probably a little more like what you're going to see during the season," Bard said. "Whether you create the jam or somebody else does, that's just how it goes. I think it's great to get some of those."
In four scoreless Grapefruit League appearances, Bard has allowed just two hits and posted six strikeouts.
"That's three solid ones in a row from him," said Farrell.
After focusing on his fastball in his previous appearance, Dempster used his entire repertoire during a four-inning outing Thursday. The veteran tossed 73 pitches (43 for strikes), gave up one run on three hits, one walk and struck out three. In a combined 12 2/3 innings, he's allowed three runs.
Dempster had runners on second and third with one out in the second inning, and he escaped with a pair of strikeouts. Dempster stranded a runner at second in his last inning, letting up his lone earned run on a homer.
"When you go away from the season and the season ends, you lose sight of those situations a little bit, so when you get back into 'em, it kind of gives you an understanding of trying to manage an inning and how to maybe get a strikeout when you can," Dempster said. "Those kinds of situations are fun, because you're going to get lots of those during the year. You just have to go out there and make your pitches."
With Drew still out, Iglesias making strides offensively
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A full week after Stephen Drew suffered a concussion, the Red Sox shortstop was set to undergo required follow-up tests Thursday while still dealing with symptoms.
"We were hopeful in anticpaitng he'd have the work day today based on the improvements he was making, but there's still some of those concussion symptoms present," manager John Farrell said.
Even though Drew wasn't 100 percent, it was necessary for him to undergo the testing because of Major League rules, Farrell said.
[He] still felt some symptoms even before he left the ballpark today and he's still got some of the concussion symptoms that we talked about," said Farrell. "They're not clearing up the way we first anticipated, so we just got to remain patient with this and give him the appropriate time."
When could Drew possibly return?
"Well, you really never know," said Farrell. "These are so case by case. Certainly we're hopeful that it's not. Based on the impact at the time, it didn't seem to be a direct blow, but yet we're certainly not taking this lightly and we'll go through every precautionary step that we need to."
With Drew out, attention falls to Jose Iglesias, who batted ninth and went 1-for-3 in the Red Sox's 7-3 win over the Twins on Thursday afternoon at Hammond Stadium. He doubled to left for his fourth two-bagger and fifth extra-base hit of Spring Training with one out and none on in the second inning, sparking a four-run rally against Mike Pelfrey. Farrell said that competition is "the best thing that can happen to anybody," and Igelsias' added strength appears to be helping him at the plate.
"I don't know that you can pinpoint as the reason why maybe the offensive side hasn't developed as quick as the defensive side," Farrell said. "I just know that the way he's swung the bat this spring, I think he's started to figure some things out with his set up at the plate, which has translated into a much more free and a much more aggressive approach, or ability to swing the bat. And I think more than anything, because he's a little bit more upright in the set up, he's seeing the ball better."
Still, Iglesias' future with the team -- if that's where his future lies -- remains murky. Iglesias may not have handled being sent to Triple-A well in the past, and that's something he's likely going to have to deal with again soon, assuming Drew's recovery from the concussion and continued health.
"This is a guy who believes in himself," Farrell said. "He's confident, he feels like he should be playing in the Major Leagues now. The greatest challenge any player has is when do their personal goals align with the team goals. When it doesn't in that moment, there's disappointment. You understand that and you respect it, but it's out of their control. Then it's a matter of, 'OK, I've got to go about taking care of business that we can control every day.' That's their routine and how they prepare for tonight.
"He has Major League ability. I'm sure there's going to come a time when he's a very good Major League player."
Morales returned to Boston to have back examined
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Boston's left-handed relief corps still faces uncertainty.
Franklin Morales was due back in camp Thursday after taking a trip back to Boston this week to visit a doctor and get to the bottom of his bothersome back.
"He'd been undergoing treatment here," manager John Farrell said Thursday morning. "[He] hasn't really made the improvements that we had hoped for, so we just had him checked. He'll be back here today. We'll have more of a detailed update once he returns. I don't have any findings or specific reports coming from that exam."
Following Boston's 7-3 win over the Twins, Farrell said he didn't have a "full report" on Morales' examination.
Another Sox lefty, Craig Breslow, is slowly progressing, but his sore shoulder is still not close enough to pitch in a game. Breslow's reached 90 feet distance-wise.
"He's gone from an every-other-day throwing program to two days on, one day off," Farrell said. "[He's moving slowly] because of making sure that there's strength gains made in the shoulder to begin to ramp up."