Postgame: Correia at the bat


BRADENTON, Fla. — I tried to nudge right-hander Kevin Correia into boasting he owns Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett. “I’m definitely not saying that,” Correia said, grinning.

Correia went 2 for 2, including a two-run single, in the Bucs’ 7-5 win against the Red Sox. Not bad for a career .126 hitter.

“I just got my bat on the ball,” Correia said. “I’ve played in the National League my whole career and I like hitting.”

Early in spring training, manager Clint Hurdle eschewed the DH and allowed his pitchers to hit.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Correia said. “When you look back over a season, you’d be surprised at how many times what a pitcher did at the plate was the difference in a big inning.”

»»» Lyle Overbay went 2 for 3, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. He has three homers and eight RBI in 14 games. … John Bowker mashed a two-run homer to left. It was his third homer in his last eight games. … Jason Jaramillo stretched his hitting streak to six games.

»»»Hurdle said either Correia or lefty Paul Maholm will start the season opener, but the decision has not yet been made.

»»» After the game, GM Neal Huntington was asked whether Joe Beimel’s new elbow soreness influenced the decision to claim lefty Garrett Olson off waivers. “No,” Huntington said. “The moves were independent.”

»»» Red Sox Nation was here in force, as usual, as a record crowd of 6,644 packed McKechnie Field for today’s game. That surpassed the 6,602 who were here March 13 to see the BoSox lose to the Bucs, 9-4.