FORT MYERS, Fla. -- According to a major league source, the Red Sox do plan to pursue Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, a 20-year-old who is awaiting approval by Major League Baseball to become an international amateur free agent. Though still considered very raw, Soler has tremendous power, with the potential to hit 30-plus homers a season in the majors if he proves capable of fulfilling his potential.

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Jon Lester and Aaron Cook were aware that they would be pitching in the same game on Sunday.



SARASOTA, Fla. -- Jon Lester increased his workload to four innings of work in which he allowed one run on one hit while walking four and striking out two, and Aaron Cook looked good in two innings of work during his Red Sox debut as the Sox beat the Orioles, 5-1.

Lester struggled with his command early, walking three batters in the first two innings, but then settled down to retire seven of the last eight batters he faced. In that stretch, he had two strikeouts and recorded six outs via groundball (one a double play ball after a walk).

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias was supposed to make the trip to Sarasota on Sunday morning to play a "B" game against the Orioles, but instead he was scratched and skipped the trip while dealing with what manager Bobby Valentine described as "a little stiff groin."

"I believe it’s his left, and if it’s not, it’s his right," said Valentine. "Call it a hunch."

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It is, said Bobby Valentine, the most befuddling aspect of the Red Sox roster. There is no part of the team that has many question marks as the bullpen.



FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After Daniel Bard turned in three shutout innings, Alfredo Aceves followed suit with three scoreless innings of his own, allowing just two hits while striking out two, as the Red Sox shut out the Rays, 5-0. In his last two outings, Aceves has retired 15 of the 17 men he's faced.

While Bard is a presumed frontrunner for the rotation, Aceves has pitched as well as any candidate for the last two spots in the rotation. On Saturday, he mixed fastball, curves, cutters and his changeup while throwing an efficient 40 pitches, 29 for strikes.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In his longest outing since 2007, Daniel Bard tossed three shutout innings against the Rays on Saturday night. He allowed two hits and walked two while striking out one.

Of his nine outs, five came via groundballs as he worked his fastball away to right-handers. He also got swings and misses on his fastball, slider and changeup, with the change (which Bard estimated he threw approximately a dozen times) representing a particular point of emphasis.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, now nine months removed from Tommy John surgery, threw a 40-pitch side session on Saturday in which he mixed sliders into his repertoire for the first time since the procedure. After the session, Sox pitching coach Bob McClure suggested that Matsuzaka is progressing extremely well in his rehab, to the point where he looked like a pitcher who never required surgery.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Michael Bowden made his major league debut in 2008, but he has yet to secure a foothold in the major leagues since then. Instead, he has been on an almost constant shuttle between Pawtucket and Boston over parts of the last four seasons.

That shuttle will now stop, as Bowden, 25 is out of minor league options. In all likelihood, the Sox will either have to keep him on their major league pitching staff or make him available to other teams either in a trade or via waivers.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- This is the seventh and potentially final spring training for Michael Bowden as a member of the Red Sox.