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The west coast isn’t friendly to the Red Sox. It doesn’t matter what point in the season the team sets their watches back three hours; it seems like the a trip to the left coast always comes during a slump. After losing on Friday with Clay Buchholz recording just three outs before an early exit, the Red Sox were looking for John Lackey to pitch the free agent deal he received. And for six innings he did.
With a 2-0 lead after six innings, Lackey seemed to be in control over a familiar AL West opponent, but a leadoff double to Daric Barton quickly led to a 3-run, 4-hit inning with a throwing error by Bill Hall for good measure. With two outs, the speedy Rajai Davis blasted a triple into the far reaches of the outfield. Ryan Kalish did an amazing job even attempting a play, but failed to reach the ball in his dive. Things didn’t get better in an eighth inning that saw Daniel Bard issue four walks.
In the 9th inning the Red Sox staged a brief comeback. Down to their final out, Victor Martinez smashed a double to right field and was promptly driven in by Adrian Beltre, who hit a double of his own. With Eric Patterson taking over as a pinch runner, the game was placed in the hands, and on the bat, of David Ortiz. However this night would not see any late game heroics from Big Papi. After battling for nine pitches against the A’s closer, Ortiz struck out looking.
The game didn’t end well for Lackey, but he tossed seven quality innings and gave up only the three runs at the end. With six strikeouts and no walks, Lackey pitched like the guy the Sox have been waiting for all year.
Bard just didn’t have it on Saturday. When the 2010 version of Hideki Okajima is called in to clean up another pitcher’s mess, you know it hasn’t gone well.
W: Anderson (5-6)
L: Lackey (12-10)
SV: Bailey (23)