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Showered with a steady chorus of boos for much of the game in his return to Los Angeles (or is it Anaheim?), John Lackey had his third straight dominating start since the All-Star Break as the Red Sox rotation now looks like one of the best in all of baseball. Lackey, a workhorse through and through, pitched into the eighth, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out four. He tossed 124 pitches in all in an effort that saved the Sox from having to use the unreliable parts of their bullpen.
His one nemesis, however, was former teammate Bobby Abreu, who doubled home the first run of the game in the third inning. Abreu also ended Lackey’s night with a home run in the eigth, which made it a 3-2 game. Lackey left with the lead and went on to earn his 10th win of the season, joining Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester as the club’s 10-game winners.
The Red Sox didn’t score until the seventh inning off Jered Weaver, plating two runs on a double from Jed Lowrie, who was slotting into the No. 2 spot in the batting order because J.D. Drew needed a night off. Darnell McDonald took Drew’s place in right field, and finished 2-3 with a walk. Lowrie, meanwhile, finished 2-5 from the 2-hole.
The Sox got a key insurance run (it turned out to be the winning run) in the eighth inning with a run-scoring double from Adrian Beltre. They added one in the ninth when Marco Scutaro scored on Howie Kendrick’s throwing error.
Daniel Bard finished the eighth inning after Lackey left, and Jonathan Papelbon came in and shut the door in the ninth for his 24th save of the season in a 4-2 Red Sox win.
Lackey fought through the boos to toss 124 pitches over 7.1 innings. The boo-birds clearly affected him.
“Nobody wants to get booed like that,” Lackey said. “The scoreboard talks the loudest. … That won’t be forgotten, for sure.”
I’m willing to bet that a lot of Angels fans are also Lakers fans, so that can’t help things for Lackey, who joined Boston early in the off-season for big money.
It’s good to have Hermida’s bat back in the lineup, but it’s better when he actually makes contact. Hermida finished 0-3 with three strikeouts.
W: John Lackey (10-5)
L: Jered Weaver (9-7)
SV: Jonathan Papelbon (24)