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John Lackey impressed Red Sox Nation with a second strong start in a Boston uniform. The righty lasted six and two thirds innings and allowed just two runs. While Lackey did walk four Twins in the outing, he was able to pitch around the base runners and earn his first win of the season and as a member of the Red Sox.
It wasn’t all good times for the Sox. In the 7th inning, with two on and two out, Hideki Okajima came in to relieve Lackey. After a 1-0 passed ball escaped the grasp of Victor Martinez, he issued an intentional walk to reigning MVP Joe Mauer, opting to face Justin Morneau instead. With runners now on second and third, Okajima was able to get Morneau to hit a weak popup and escape the bases-loaded jam.
Carrying that momentum into the top of the 8th, the Red Sox broke things open. Jeremy Hermida came up with a bases loaded double by taking a Jesse Crain offering into left center field, clearing the bases, and giving the Sox a 6-2 lead.
Daniel Bard would give one run back in the bottom of the inning as Michael Cuddyer would take him deep, but that was all the damage the Twins would do against the Red Sox bullpen. Jonathan Papelbon came in for the ninth to record his 3rd save of the season.
The former Marlin came up in a big spot and delivered again. In just 14 at bats, Hermida has 5 hits and 6 RBI including the three he drove in today. With Ellsbury out, Hermida is taking advantage of his time in the lineup.
On the 1-0 pitch to Joe Mauer in the 7th inning, Martinez was charged with a passed ball, advancing the runners to second and third and leading to the intentional walk of Mauer. Thankfully no runs scored, but at the time the Sox were only up 3-2 and Lackey’s win was on the line.
W: Lackey (1-0)
L: Slowey (1-1)
SV: Papelbon (3)