Boston Red Sox starter Josh Beckett delivers against the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inning during a spring training baseball game in Fort Myers, Fla., Friday March 27, 2009.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

I received an email the yesterday asking me if I had abandoned the Boston Red Sox news that I normally post each day. I kind of chuckled to myself and said wow, you really haven’t done much with the Sox the past few days.

I do apologize for that. I got caught up with the UConn recruiting scandal along with some personal stuff.

While I am not going to totally rehash the past few days of Red Sox news, I’ll just give the brief synopsis of Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday was a big day for John Smoltz because it meant that he could finally touch his spikes on a mound and actually throw from it. From all accounts, the mound session was a success and Smoltz will throw again today.  That afternoon, they got a brilliant outing from Clay Buchholz to beat the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 in Sarasota.

With the way he’s pitching this spring, I find it hard to see how the Red Sox can leave him off the roster.

Thursday brought us an off day for the Red Sox as far as games are concerned. But that didn’t mean Justin Masterson wasn’t busy as he threw 4 2/3 innings for the Portland Sea Dogs. Masterson allowed no runs on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6.

Yesterday things picked back up in Ft. Myers as Daisuke Matsuzaka threw his first bullpen for the Red Sox. Dice-K, coming on an MVP performance in the WBC, was just a tad bit wild in his 54-pitch session.

It was a dangerous morning for pitching coach John Farrell. With a wild Daisuke Matsuzaka on the mound in the bullpen, Farrell stepped in as a lefthanded batter against the starter. He nearly got hit multiple times, mostly in the foot, as Matsuzaka threw 54 pitches in the side session.

Matsuzaka was out of the strike zone high, low, inside, outside, as he threw first to George Kottaras, then bullpen catcher Mani Martinez.

The afternoon brought a game against the St. Louis Cardinals with Josh Beckett on the mound. The Red Sox ended up winning the game 11-8 on a Chip Ambres 3-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th.

Beckett went 6 innings in the game, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits while walking one and striking out 4. Takashi Saito followed Beckett with an inning of work, giving up 2 hits and striking out 1 and Ramon Ramirez worked a perfect inning. Felix Rodriguez got hit hard for the Sox, allowing 4 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits and 2 walks that allowed the Cardinals to tie it up in the 9th.

Nick Green led the Red Sox with 3 hits while Jason Varitek was one of 5 regulars to have 2 hits in the game. Varitek went 2-for-3 with a 2-run home run. Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, J.D. Drew and Chris Carter all had 2 hits. Jason Bay left the game in the third inning with a bout of dehydration.

The Red Sox are back in action this afternoon when they will host the Minnesota Twins in the Mayor’s Cup at City of Palms Park. The Red Sox currently hold a 2-1 advantage and will have Brad Penny on the mound in his second Grapefruit League start. The game will be televised by NESN and can also be heard on WRKO AM680 on your AM radio dial in the Boston area.

Matsuzaka throws 54 pitches in bullpen [Extra Bases]

What are the odds? [Extra Bases]

The one that got away [Clubhouse Insider]

Lugo has a sunny disposition [Boston Globe]

The knuckleball machine [Full Count]

Suffering through a rough spring, Ambres hits game-winning homer [Providence Journal]

Matsuzaka says he plans ‘big changes’ in the way he pitches [Providence Journal]

Bay leaves game with dehydration, said to be fine [Projo Sox Blog]

Jason Varitek’s left all right [Boston Herald]

Boston Red Sox rotation set, but manager Terry Francona not talking [The Republican]

BASEBALL 2009: AL Predictions [USA Today]

Red Sox freeze concession prices []

Wakefield, Kottaras have mini competition [Heidi Watney –]