BOS@ATL: Bradley hits an RBI single to left

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After cracking the Red Sox's Opening Day roster last year, No. 3 prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. lost the center-field competition to Grady Sizemore and will start this season in the Minors after getting optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday.

"Like any competitor, he was disappointed, and we expected him to be," said manager John Farrell. "He is a very driven athlete and looks at this as a challenge and to get back here."

Bradley struggled throughout the spring, hitting just .158 with five RBIs in 19 games. He also had 17 strikeouts.

"I was prepared either way," Bradley said. "I'm not one to ever get caught off-guard about anything. You take it in stride and move on. I knew it was going to be a competing thing. He played well. I didn't perform in Spring Training, but I feel like I'm ready for the season and I'm ready to prove it. We all didn't see Jackie Bradley Jr. this spring."

Bradley was in the Red Sox's original lineup for Friday's game, batting ninth and in center field, but he was taken out after getting optioned.

Last year, Bradley had an amazing Spring Training, hitting .419 and earning a spot in the team's outfield for its opening series against the Yankees.

"It's humbling. I've always known that," Bradley said. "I don't get too caught up on the highs or too caught up on the lows. I just try to stay in a happy medium and it will all even out."

Farrell expects to have Bradley be on the Red Sox's roster sometime this year.

"Jackie is critically important to us, not just today, but for a long period of time," Farrell said. "It would be important for Jackie to get some at-bats and get on a roll and get his game going."

Doubront pleased with final Grapefruit League start

BOS@MIN: Doubront blanks Twins in final spring start

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After two straight rough outings, Felix Doubront rebounded in the Red Sox's 4-0 win over the Twins on Friday, proving he's ready for the regular season to begin.

The left-hander allowed seven hits and fanned seven over five scoreless innings for his first Grapefruit League victory. It was a drastic change from his past two starts, when he combined to allow 15 runs on 20 hits over eight innings.

"That was my goal, to finish strong. I wanted to start fresh and just work hard," Doubront said. "I needed to have more success in this last start."

Doubront got into trouble in the fourth inning, allowing two leadoff singles. However, he buckled down and struck out the next three batters. The first two hitters also got on in the fifth, but Doubront wiggled out of the jam once again, mowing down three straight batters.

"Today, my fastball and breaking ball were working well. In those tight situations, I really relied on them," Doubront said. "This game was a little difficult. A lot of foul balls and bloopers. They didn't hit the ball too hard. For me, it was a big step after the last outings I had. It was huge for me."

Red Sox manager John Farrell was impressed with the way Doubront used his cutter during Friday's start.

"We want a little bit more efficiency, but he made a number of good pitches that were elusive for him the last time out," said Farrell.

Working on his mechanics for much of the spring, the southpaw finally feels comfortable with the adjustments he's made.

"I think mechanically it was a really good outing," Doubront said. "I pitched like it was a regular-season game and gave it everything I had."

Worth noting

• Following Friday's game, left-hander Drake Britton and catcher Ryan Lavarnway were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. With the moves, the Red Sox now have 30 players in big league camp, including 25 active players from the 40-man roster, five non-roster invitees, and two players on the disabled list.