Getting to the bottom of the first without any runs in was not a trivial achievement for John Lackey. Feeling the squeeze early from home plate umpire Eric Cooper early, Lackey surrendered a leadoff walk to David DeJesus on five pitches, then after striking out Wil Myers, gave up a ground ball single to James Loney. With his 15th pitch of the inning, however--his first to Evan Longoria--Lackey got a ground ball right to Will Middlebrooks, who calmly stepped on third and fired to first to end the inning.
Leading off the bottom of the first, Jacoby Ellsbury took the small ball path to putting a run on the board for the Red Sox. Ellsbury blooped a single into right field, then took off on a 2-1 pitch to Shane Victorino. Jose Molina fired down, but his throw went wide of second base, allowing Ellsbury to not only get into scoring position, but all the way to third with zero outs. While Victorino couldn't bring him in to score, Dustin Pedroia did, flying out to right field plenty deep for the speedy center fielder to get home.
David Ortiz took a different approach:
Unfortunately for the Red Sox, John Lackey could not completely hold the lead, once again starting off the inning with a walk, this time to Ben Zobrist. Unlike the first, however, Lackey allowed Zobrist to get all the way to third on a Desmond Jennings single, and then to score on Delmon Young's sacrifice fly. He seemed to settle down after that, striking out Jose Molina to end the inning, but it's not been the strongest start for either pitcher.
Read more Red Sox:
- Rating the Narrative Matchups
- The MLBPA hates John Lackey
- 2013 Red Sox MVP debate
- Red Sox playoffs: Is Jon Lester the Game One starter?
- Franklin Morales: Underrated arm