FORT MYERS, Fla. — Boston Red Sox Manager John Farrell returned to the dugout for the first time since revealing his cancer diagnosis in mid-August, and his team opened exhibition play Monday with a 6-0 win over Boston College and an 8-3 victory over Northeastern.

Farrell missed the final seven weeks of the season while being treated for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

“To get back in the flow of things, the game is a lot of fun regardless of what time of spring training, what time of year and who you’re playing against,” Farrell said. “The fact that you’re involved in the game is a really good feeling.”

Farrell said it was a rugged road back.

“There was two months missed last year and some treatments along the way,” he said. “There’s some significant things to work through.”

Farrell announced he had cancer and stepped down on Aug. 14. Bench coach Torey Lovullo took over for the rest of the season.

The Red Sox annually start their spring schedule with a doubleheader of seven-inning games against the Boston-area college teams.

Red Sox star Hanley Ramirez got off to a smooth start in a new spot, handling a pair of easy plays in his debut at first base in the opener. He also doubled off the left-field wall and singled.

“I was trying to anticipate everything,” Ramirez said. “That’s the key. That’s what spring training’s about, getting your work in.”

Before he made his debut at first, Ramirez headed out to a back field with coach Brian Butterfield for extra work at about 8:30 a.m. for about 25 minutes. When he returned to the clubhouse, he walked in and tossed his red first baseman’s glove about 20 feet to his locker.

He later used it to handle two very easy plays.

Mookie Betts hit a three-run homer against BC’s Brian Rapp in the fourth. Red Sox starter Steven Wright struck out four and gave up two singles in two innings.

Wright had last season cut short due to problems following a concussion after he was hit in the head by a ball during batting practice in early August.

Farrell said DH David Ortiz needed “two or three more days” of hitting work before he was ready to play. The manager said he’s likely to play Friday.

Outfielder David Murphy, 34, signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox.

Murphy was the first Red Sox draft choice made by then-general manager Theo Epstein, in 2003. He played all of 2005 with the Portland Sea Dogs and began 2006 at Hadlock Field, before moving on to Triple-A and, eventually, Boston.

Before the trade deadline in 2007, Murphy was dealt to Texas in a trade for reliever Eric Gagne. Murphy moved to Cleveland in 2014 as a free agent.

Murphy played for both the Indians and the Los Angeles Angels last year, batting a combined .283 with a .739 OPS.

The signing of Murphy gives Boston some depth, in case of injury. Boston has four outfielders set for its major league roster – Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Chris Young.

An elderly male usher was struck by a ball during Boston Red Sox batting practice Monday but appeared to be fine when he was removed from the field on a stretcher.

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