(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
After completing a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros over the weekend, the Boston Red Sox headed home and began a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays. Despite putting up a late inning effort, the Red Sox could not dig themselves out of the big hole John Lackey dug them into, losing 9-7 on Independence Day.
Monday afternoon's game just marked yet another game in which John Lackey could not develop a rhythm. The Blue Jays hammered Lackey hard, as he only managed to pitch two and third innings, leaving the game with seven earned runs to his name while giving up nine hits.
The only run of the ball game that wasn't totally Lackey's fault came in the first inning, when Rajai Davis stole third base and eventually scored on a missed catch error by Kevin Youkilis off Jarrod Saltalamacchia's throw to third base. But other than than, Lackey just flat stunk today.
Toronto kept it going in the second inning when Aaron Hill deep over the monster for a solo home run that extended the Blue Jay lead to two. Later in the inning, John McDonald, who came into the game hitting just over .100, connected on an RBI single on a pitch that was left in the middle of the plate, 3-0 Jays.
The third inning was the worst for Lackey, as the hits just kept coming. With a man on, Adam Lind connected on an RBI single that brought on Eric Thames (also batting close to .100) in from second base. Aaron Hill eventually knocked in another run, driving in Jose Bautista to make the lead 5-0. On the pitch he threw, Lackey served up another dead center pitch to Travis Snyder, who drove in both Lind and Hill to make the lead 7-0, and chasing Lackey from the hill. Dan Wheeler eventually extinguished the fire.
Another ugly outing from a man we are paying 85 million dollars. Maybe he does need that Tommy John surgery.
The Blue Jays were backed by a somewhat solid outing from Brandon Morrow, who kept the Sox off the scoreboard through the fourth inning. The Boston bats awoke in the fifth inning when Jacoby Ellsbury hit an RBI triple to right field that drove in both J.D. Drew and Marco Scutaro. Ellsbury later scored on a passed ball by Jose Molina. Adrian Gonzalez contributed to the action, adding an RBI double that Dustin Pedroia from first base. A four run inning, but it didn't matter, Lackey had already given them seven runs. 7-4 through five innings.
Alfredo Aceves gave up two more runs to the Jays, coming off an RBI single and another error third base. The error was committed by Yamaico Navarro, who replaced Kevin Youkilis after he was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning. No word yet on Youkilis to this point. The Blue Jays took a 9-4 lead into the eighth inning. The Red Sox were almost able to get Lackey off the hook, but not quite.
Navarro and David Ortiz began the inning with hits with no one out. Jarrod Saltalamacchia connected on a Jason Frasor pitch and drove an RBI triple off the monster than scored both Navarro and Ortiz, cutting the lead to 9-6. The Red Sox got another run when J.D. Drew drove Saltalamacchia in off a sac-fly to left. However it was too little to late for the Red Sox.
There was hope in the ninth inning, as the Blue Jays brought on their erratic closer Frank Francisco to try and protect the lead. Francisco allowed a leadoff single to Ellsbury, but then turned around and struck out Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, and Yamaico Navarro to end the game. The Jays took this one, 9-7.