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The Red Sox rolled into town off to their worst start (0-6) since 1996, and had to face the arch-rival New York Yankees to open the season at Fenway Park on Opening Day. The Red Sox had a tastefully done ceremony introducing the new upgrades at Fenway Park, including awesome (or 1337) HD video screens above the outfield. As a nice touch, the Sox honored victims from the devastation in Japan and former GM Lou Gorman, who died last week. To cap it off, legendary outfielder Carl Yastrzemski threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Once the dust of the all the pomp and circumstance settled, the Red Sox and Yankees were ready to lock horns. Coming off a horrible outing, John Lackey was looking to right the ship and help the Red Sox get their first victory. While he ended up earning the W in a 9-6 Red Sox win, he had another really rough outing.
Lackey allowed six runs (all earned) on seven hits and two walks in just five innings pitched (92 pitches). Somehow, he left with the lead as the Sox were able to pound Yankees hurler Phil Hughes early and often.
The Sox touched Hughes for six runs on seven hits in just two innings, doing most of their damage in the second (five runs). The Sox loaded the bases on three singles, and scored their second run (Dustin Pedroia hit a solo shot in the first for the first run) on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Marco Scutaro.
Dustin Pedroia then knocked in two more on an single to center. After he advanced to second on a horrid throw to home plate from Curtis Granderson, Pedroia scored on an Adrian Gonzalez single. After Kevin Youkilis walked, the Red Sox got their sixth run on an RBI single by David Ortiz.
The Yankees, however, managed to tie it up over the next few innings off Lackey, who allowed runs in EVERY inning he was out there. So, he wasn’t particularly horrible in any one inning, he was just consistently bad over all of them.
In the meantime, the Yankees sent out Bartolo Colon to start the third inning, and for the most part, he shut down the Red Sox. Sox hitters managed just two hits and a walk over his 4.1 innings, but did tally a run on a Jarrod Saltalamacchia double in the fifth. They also added two in the eighth on a J.D. Drew single (one of the runs was charged to Colon) as insurance.
The much-maligned Jonathan Papelbon entered the game in the ninth, and mixed in a mid-90’s fastball that he located with surgical precision and a wicked splitter/slider. He mowed down the Yanks, finishing with two strikeouts and the save.
After Lackey yielded two runs in the first to give the Yankees an early lead, Pedroia homered over the Green Monster in the bottom half of the inning. He also added two more RBI on a single in the second as part of a 3-5 day.
Lackey supposedly came into camp slimmer and with a renewed focus. He has only showed that he just really doesn’t have it anymore. After a pitiful start in Texas, Lackey followed it up with another dud against the Yankees. Fortunately for him (as was the case last season), he received a large amount of run support and picked up the win.
W: John Lackey (1-1)
L: Phil Hughes (0-2)