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Upbeat Nate Jones beaten up in 7th inning



The facts: 1:10 p.m., Ch. 9, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.

The starters: Phil Hughes (4-14, 5.19 ERA) vs. Jose Quintana (9-7, 3.51).

Nate Jones wanted the closer’s job but didn’t get it, so it was back to business as usual for the hard-throwing 28-year-old right-hander who has been an effective seventh- and eighth-inning man his first two years in the majors.

Robin Ventura named Matt Lindstrom the closer before the first game of the season Monday. For Jones, it was a disappointment, but he remained upbeat.

“It’s something everybody wanted,’’ Jones said Wednesday. “That’s why we had the competition. It just so happened that Matt got healthy, he did well in the outings he had and he did well Monday, as well. Our job now is to get the ball to him with the lead.’’

Jones, who was viewed by many as the heir apparent to Addison Reed because of his stuff and effectiveness in his current role, wasn’t able to do that in the Sox’ 7-6 victory in 11 innings. He gave up a walk — after Scott Downs walked the leadoff man — an RBI double to Jason Kubel and a two-run single to Trevor Plouffe in the seventh on what was generally a bad day for the bullpen.

Sox relievers walked five Twins. Ronald Belisario did not walk a batter and got the win with 11/3 hitless innings.

Lindstrom: Ventura’s guy

Lindstrom pitched a scoreless ninth on Opening Day for his first save of the year and the first of his career since he saved two games for the Rockies in 2011. He had 23 saves for the Astros in 2010 and 15 for the Marlins in 2009.

“He’s going to be the guy going out there most often in the ninth unless something’s up,’’ Ventura said. “I would see it as him being the guy.’’

Upon further review

Rookie righty Daniel Webb relieved Jones and had to wait about six minutes while umpires talked through a replay review with officials in New York in the seventh.

Center fielder Adam Eaton’s catch of Oswaldo Arcia’s routine fly ball was overturned after a challenge from Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. Eaton was transferring the ball from his glove to his throwing hand after a routine catch, and Plouffe, who was on first and never attempted to advance, was awarded second base.

Webb escaped without further damage thanks to two strikeouts and a throw home from left fielder Alejandro De Aza to catcher Tyler Flowers that retired Plouffe on Aaron Hicks’ single. Gardenhire claimed the long delay forced him to remove starting pitcher Kevin Correia an inning early.

Viciedo chips in

Dayan Viciedo did not start for the second time in two games with lefty-swinging De Aza getting the start, but he pinch-hit for Flowers in the ninth, singled and scored the tying run.

Viciedo, 25, is in that sketchy place of needing regular at-bats to tap his big potential and needing to produce more to play more.

“We talked about being more patient and being more selective as far as the pitches that we pick to hit,’’ he said. “We worked on that during spring training. We had pretty good results. It’s a matter of staying consistent and continuing to do that.”


Twitter: @CST_soxvan

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