Lackey coming along after solid outing vs. Rays

Lackey coming along after solid outing vs. Rays
March 10, 2013, 6:15 pm
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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- John Lackey is about halfway through spring training as he rebounds from Tommy John surgery, and while he's not yet ready to start the season, he can sense things coming along.
"It's definitely still coming,'' said Lackey after allowing two runs in 3 2/3 innings of work in the Red Sox' 6-2 victory over Tampa Bay. "I've been around the zone. It's still a work in progress. It was a good step, going out four times (for four innings). The biggest key was having that long delay (while the Red Sox hit) in my last two innings. That was kind of a good test. I had to sit down for a while and was still able to get loose and feel fine."
"He mixed more pitches in,'' noted catcher David Ross. "There was only one ball hit hard on the runs they scored. I thought he looked very sharp. His ball was sinking. When guys are in fastball counts and they get a fastball and swing and miss, that's a good sign.''
Lackey judged his secondary pitches to be "just OK. My slider-cutter thing was a little flat today. But I had a pretty good two-seamer and felt good with that. I got several ground balls when I was trying to. It was a step forward."
Lackey is still building arm strength and the 64 pitches he threw was a step in that direction.
"I thought he threw the ball well,'' said manager John Farrell. "We got him up four times for 64 pitches. I thought he threw a few good changeups to lefthanders and got some (poor swings) and swing-and-misses to it. It might not have been as crisp as his last time out (against Puerto Rico), but there wasn't a lot of hard contact. He pitched to both sides of the plate. He did a good job."