FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox left-hander Craig Breslow took an important step forward on Monday, pitching in a game for the first time since Game 4 of the 2013 World Series.
In one inning of work in Class A action against Orioles farmhands, Breslow allowed one hit and struck out one batter. Overall, the left-hander tossed 18 pitches, 11 for strikes.
"I've got not major complaints or problems. It went as expected and planned," Breslow said. "I didn't feel any discomfort. That was the first time I'd been on the hill in a competitive situation in some time."
Even with a steady stream of rain making the field quite wet, Breslow was able to keep his composure and mix his pitches well. His changeup was especially effective, creating two swings and misses.
Breslow was happy with the life on his pitches and the way he finished through the zone. While his velocity was a few mph below what it would normally be during the season, the lefty wasn't concerned.
"I felt comfortable using my whole repertoire," Breslow said. "I recognize some places where I can improve. I need to build up arm strength, but for a first step, it went well."
With less than a week left of Spring Training, Breslow said he still needs to work on his rhythm and tempo, which will come in more game action. Boston has taken a slower approach with the 33-year-old this spring, learning from last year, when he was kept out of action until May 6 because of shoulder tendinitis.
"My volume of throwing in Spring Training has been heavier than anyone else. It just wasn't in a game setting and off a mound," Breslow said. "I feel good. Comparing this to where I was last year, it is a totally different scenario."
A vital part in last season's championship run, Breslow threw 59 2/3 innings with a 1.82 ERA in 61 games.
"This was good for me to have the confidence to go out there and throw all of my pitches and with good intensity and be effective in a game, so when I'm not on the mound, I can be just as aggressive and build up arm strength," said Breslow.
While all signs point to Breslow starting the season on the disabled list, his status is still uncertain.
"I understand how we got here and recognize that whether it's from March 31 or April 5 or 6 through the end of October is what's important, not today," Breslow said. "I think we have to be reminded of that."
Lester contract situation should be resolved by opener
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Now that the David Ortiz contract is settled, will the Red Sox soon be able to announce an extension for ace Jon Lester?
It sounds like that situation will be resolved one way or another before the lefty takes the ball for his Opening Day start in Baltimore on March 31.
"I can't handicap it," said general manager Ben Cherington. "We're still talking. There's nothing else to report but that. I think the spirit of it has continued to be open and sharing information and also focusing in on resolving it one way or another this week before we get into Opening Day. But aside from that, I can't speculate on it."
Cherington feels the negotiations thus far have been very professional on both sides.
"Any time you can talk and share information and understand each perspective better, that's a form of progress," said Cherington. "I think saying anything more than that is sort of unfair to the process and not consistently with what we've agreed with Jon and [agent] Seth [Levinson] in terms of keeping the talks behind closed doors.
"We have great respect for Jon. He's obviously preparing to take the ball on Opening Day, and that's what he's focused on mostly. No matter what happens this week, we're going to support him fully and our preferred position is that he remains in a Red Sox uniform past 2014 and that won't change, no matter what happens the rest of this week."
Lester is entering the $13 million option year on the contract he signed back in 2009.
• Grady Sizemore had a day of rest on Monday, but the next three days will be critical in determining if he can start the season on the active roster.
Starting with Tuesday's game against the Rays and concluding with Thursday night's game with the Twins, Sizemore is expected to play three consecutive days for the first time in Spring Training.
• Daniel Nava played center field in a Minor League game on Sunday as the Red Sox continue to gauge whether he can play there in a backup capacity this season. Shane Victorino might also see some time there this week.
• Jake Peavy was supposed to pitch in a Minor League game in Fort Myers on Monday, but the rainy conditions forced him to throw a 100-pitch simulated game in the cage. The righty will pitch Boston's final Grapefruit League game on Saturday against the Twins, and he will likely get the start in the home opener at Fenway Park on April 4. Clay Buchholz will stay back in Fort Myers for an extra day and pitch in a Minors game Sunday in preparation for his first regular-season start.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.