Hey. That John Lackey guy? Yeah, he seems to be getting it now.
Lackey delivered seven innings of one-run baseball to lead the Red Sox to an 8-5 victory over the Rays on Tuesday night. He was helped out offensively by Adrian Beltre, who went 4 for 4, and David Ortiz, who hit an early three-run home run.
Lackey allowed eight hits and two walks over the seven innings. He struck out three while throwing 108 pitches. As good as the Rays are in the record books, their offense has been lackluster, so this isn't saying a whole lot for Lackey. Still, though, it's always promising to get a quality start from Lackey. Five of his last eight games have been recorded as quality starts.
The game was quiet until the fifth, when Ortiz exploded for his three-run home run. It gave the Sox the 3-0 lead. In the sixth, Jason Varitek and Daniel Nava padded the lead with RBI singles of their own. In the seventh, Boston would finish its scoring thanks to a Jason Varitek sac fly and a Bill Hall two-run home run. Thanks, Billy.
Unfortunately, the bullpen did not follow Lackey's suit. Hideki Okajima gave up two hits, a walk and two runs in 0.2 innings of work. Scott Atchison also struggled, allowing two runs and a walk while just recording one out. Daniel Bard (0.1 innings), Dustin Richardson (0.1) and Jonathan Papelbon (0.1) didn't allow any runs. Thanks to a two-run single in the 9th, Papelbon was able to earn his 18th save of the season.
For some reason it's always nice to beat the Rays. Tonight was no exception. Let's keep it flowing tomorrow as Daisuke Matsuzaka hits the mound. The Rays will send out Matt Garza.