Red Sox 2, Twins 1

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The stare was missing.

Jonathan Papelbon wasn't about to waste his intimidating glare -- or his overpowering pitches -- on his first outing of spring training.

The Red Sox star closer is aiming for his last exhibition game a month from now, against the New York Mets at their new Citi Field.

On a rare overcast and windy day in southwest Florida, Papelbon threw 11 pitches in a perfect fifth inning and earned the victory in Boston's 2-1 win Sunday that gave the Minnesota Twins their first loss in five games.

Some Red Sox pitchers already had worked in two games before Papelbon made his debut, making him antsy early in spring training.

"That's what is the hard part about it is to realize that early on in the spring is not what it's all about," Papelbon said. "It's about getting to that 100 percent, 110 percent by the time we go into those exhibition games in New York."

The Red Sox finish their exhibition schedule with two games against the Mets from April 3-4, and Papelbon expects to appear in eight to 12 games by the time the regular seasons begins.

"The biggest thing for me is to be able to control that adrenaline in these spring games and not go out there in my first few outings and try and blow people away," he said. "Just go out there and really just perfect my delivery and worry about getting that (velocity) later on in the spring."

His delivery looked fine to manager Terry Francona.

"He looked strong," Francona said. "When Pap doesn't pitch much, you see him get a little sideways and he wasn't. I thought he stayed in his delivery real well, stayed over the top of the ball, drove the ball down and that was good to see."

Josh Beckett, who made his second start for Boston, also is taking it slowly in a longer-than-normal spring training. He pitched two perfect innings and is scheduled to make six more appearances.

"Go out there to get six outs and you only face six guys, that's pretty good," he said.

Twins starter Kevin Slowey made his first appearance of spring training and pitched two perfect innings with one strikeout. At 24, he is the youngest member of a rotation whose oldest pitcher is 27-year-old Scott Baker.

Slowey was 12-11 with a 3.99 ERA last year and led the majors with the fewest walks, 24, for pitchers who started at least 24 games.

"I just want to be out there. I don't think there's one particular thing that I'm working on," he said. "There's nothing for me that jumps out. I just want every outing to feel like I have at least workable stuff, if it's not my best stuff."

He was followed by Glen Perkins, who threw three scoreless innings before Matt Guerrier gave up the first run of the game, a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by AL MVP Dustin Pedroia in the sixth. Kevin Youkilis hit a wind-aided homer to right-center in the seventh off Craig Breslow.

Minnesota's run came in the eighth on an RBI single by Deibinson Romero.

"It was well-pitched. Some balls were flying around," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Slowey looked good. Perkins looked really good."

Game notes
Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched three scoreless innings against the Yomiuri Giants at the Tokyo Dome on Sunday in his second exhibition tuneup for the World Baseball Classic. Japan, winner of the inaugural WBC behind tournament MVP Matsuzaka, begins play Thursday against China at the Tokyo Dome. ... The wind kept Pedroia's sacrifice fly from being a grand slam. ... Minnesota managed just five hits, four singles and a double. ... The Twins put runners at first and second with no outs in the ninth before Hunter Jones retired the next three batters.