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The John Lackey we saw before his DL stint, otherwise known as the worst starting pitcher in the major leagues, would not have recovered from his rough start to his outing on Friday night. This new, healthier version, though, got even stronger as the game went on.
Lackey went 8.0 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits. After allowing all four runs over the first three innings, Lackey settled down, tossing five more scoreless innings, including a streak of 14 consecutive batters retired in a 10-4 Red Sox win. He’s now 3-0 since being activated on June 5.
The defining moment of Lackey’s outing came in the third inning. The Brewers loaded the bases with no outs when Casey McGehee grounded hard to second. Dustin Pedroia managed to stop the ball on a dive, throw to second for one out, and Marco Scutaro turned to first to complete the double play. Milwaukee scored on the play, but created two outs in the process.
“That’s going to be a couple of runs, maybe second and third,” Boston manager Terry Francona said after the game. “That was the biggest play of the game.”
The Sox offense, meanwhile, continued to mash opposing pitching, touching Brewers starter Shaun Marcum for two runs on four hits and a walk in the first inning. Marcum, a former Blue Jay, allowed a leadoff HR to Jacoby Ellsbury and an RBI double to David Ortiz before leaving the game with a strained left hip flexor.
Speaking of leaving the game, Carl Crawford suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain in the first inning beating out a ground ball. It’s the least severe kind of hamstring injures, Francona said after the game. Kevin Youkilis, who was sick to his stomach, left the game in the fifth inning. Darnell McDonald took over for Crawford, and Drew Sutton took over for Youk (1-2, 2 RBI).
Sutton (2-3) was up with the big club after the Red Sox placed Jed Lowrie on the DL.
The banged up Sox tacked on six runs over the middle innings, including a go-ahead solo HR for Adrian Gonzalez into the Monster Seats. Jason Varitek and Pedroia drove in runs in the sixth, and J.D. Drew added a two-run single in the eighth.
Gonzalez went 3-4 with a single, double, and HR. He now leads the AL in batting average (.352) and RBI (62).
Stomach sick? Really? Out partying with the Bruins last night, Youk? (Seriously though, hopefully it isn’t more serious than a stomach ache).
W: John Lackey (5-5)
L: Marco Estrada (1-3)