Salty gives home area a good show

JUPITER, Fla. -- Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a huge day in his homecoming, going 3-for-3 with a homer and two doubles. A 2003 graduate of Royal Palm Beach High, located about a 30-minute drive from Roger Dean Stadium, Saltalamacchia drove in four runs in front of a sellout crowd of 7,648 that included his parents and grandparents.

Batting fifth and hitting from the left side against Marlins starter Javier Vazquez, Saltalamacchia took a 2-1 fastball over the fence in right for his first homer of the spring.

In the third, he banged the fence with a two-run, opposite-field double off Vazquez. Batting from the right side, he added an RBI double off Marlins reliever Victor Garate in the fifth.

Saltalamacchia said he feels comfortable from both sides of the plate, and despite the extra work he's done on his swing with hitting coach Dave Magadan, his time behind the dish is still most important.

"The No. 1 priority is pitchers," he said. "We've got enough offense in this lineup that if we can just pitch and keep the runs down, we'll be OK."

The only mark on his day was the fourth inning. His double-pump throw allowed Florida's Emilio Bonifacio to steal second, who later scored on a single to right by Donnie Murphy. With Murphy trying for second, Saltalamacchia took a short-hop relay from right fielder Mike Cameron and skipped a throw wide of the bag and into center.

"Yeah, it was good," Saltalamacchia said of his homecoming. "At the plate, at least."