De Vries' final start cut short by forearm tightness

After tossing three shutout frames vs. Sox, righty exits for precautionary reasons

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Cole De Vries continued his outstanding spring Friday by tossing three shutout frames and the versatile Eduardo Escobar drove in three runs in the Twins' 8-3 victory over the Red Sox at Hammond Stadium.

De Vries, who is expected to open the season as the Twins' No. 5 starter, turned in three shutout frames, but he was lifted for precautionary reasons due to right forearm tightness. The right-hander walked one and struck out one, and the lone baserunner he allowed was erased on a double play.

"We'll see how he feels tomorrow," said manager Ron Gardenhire. "It didn't sound like it was a big deal, but we'll have to see how he feels tomorrow."

In seven Grapefruit League appearances, including four starts, De Vries was 3-0 with a 0.53 ERA and allowed just two runs (one earned) on four hits.

"It was good for him to come and throw well this spring," Gardenhire said. "He was solid all spring. We're happy to see anyone come and throw well. We need pitching, and he took the bull by the horns."

With Spring Training ending Saturday, Gardenhire had no regrets about pitching De Vries on Friday.

"The key is getting through Spring Training," Gardenhire said. "That means all the days. This was his turn to pitch. You've got to pitch him. You live with it and move forward."

De Vries was 5-5 with a 4.11 ERA in 17 games with Minnesota last year.

The Twins grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning against Ryan Dempster, as Escobar drove home Chris Parmelee and Wilkin Ramirez with a double. Minnesota added another run in the fourth when Escobar singled home Ryan Doumit.

The Red Sox didn't get their second baserunner until the fifth inning, when Anthony Slama walked Will Middlebrooks. Slama then struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jonny Gomes.

Boston didn't get its first hit until Jacoby Ellsbury singled with one out in the sixth. Dustin Pedroia ended the shutout with an RBI single to right.

Dempster, who will start the third game of the regular season for the Red Sox on Thursday, worked the first four innings, allowing three runs on three hits. He struck out four and walked three.

Up next: Mike Pelfrey, who is scheduled to start the Twins' third game of the regular season against the Tigers on Thursday, will make his final appearance of the spring in Saturday's 12:35 p.m. CT contest against the Red Sox. The game will air free on MLB.TV and also be broadcast on MLB Network.

Jim Hawkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.