BOSTON -- John Lackey threw to live hitters for the second time since his offseason Tommy John surgery, prior to Thursday's game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park.Manager Bobby Valentine said that Lackey's velocity was "pretty good" in the 20 pitches he threw. He also said that Lackey will not pitch for the Red Sox this season.Instead, Lackey will pitch in the instructional league. And it won't have anything to do with his physical development, but instead, will have only to do with his mental check list."He felt he was better than he did last time," said Valentine. "He looked better than he did last time. No chance of him pitching here, but he's looking forward to pitching a couple innings in the fall league in Florida."It's been a goal of his. So, you at least want to be able to reach your goals. And he's worked so hard that he looks good, he feels good, and to check that off, I think, would be good thing for him to do. He's been right on schedule. He's made every bullpen session. He's made every weight session."
Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox’ 8-3 win over the Kansas City Royals
BOSTON -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 8-3 win over the Royals:
“I hadn’t really thought about it. Trying to win games. It’s late in the year . . . I don’t really have time to sit back and pat myself on the back for anything. We’re trying to win as a team.” - Dustin Pedroia on the importance of the 11-for-11 stretch in his career.
“It’s fun. It’s why you go to work in December, January, February. It’s all the work you put in up to this point. It feels good to go out there and get the results you expect to get, especially against a team like [the Royals] who is hot as they are right now.” - David Price on pitching meaningful games with a playoff-like atmosphere.
“Yeah, yeah we [knew about the streak] . . . It was an awesome roll and it was fun to see . . . Every time I went up to hit, I let Salvador Perez know.” - Xander Bogaerts on Dustin Pedroia’s 11-for-11 streak.
“I think we’ve been able to handle velocity very well. We’ve got good bat-speed in out lineup, and we’re able to handle that.” - John Farrell on the offense thriving against good pitching.
* David Ortiz played in his 1,000th game at Fenway Park, becoming the fifth player to do so.
* Ortiz also became the first player ever to play 2,000 games as the designated hitter.
* Mookie Betts scored his 100th run of the season off his 29th home run of the year, joining Fred Lynn, Johnny Pesky and Ted Williams as the only players to reach 100 runs before turning 24.
* The Red Sox hit back-to-back home runs for the fourth time this season with Betts and Hanley Ramirez going yard in the fifth.
* With his 2-for-4 day at the plate, Jackie Bradley Jr. improved to 34-for-94 (.362) batting ninth.
1) Dustin Pedroia
Pedroia finished 4-for-5, extending his streak to 11 hits in 11 at-bats, finishing one shy of tying the MLB record.
2) David Price
Price logged his fourth straight quality start with his six-inning, two-run start. He also dropped his ERA below 4.00 for the first time since his Opening Day start with Boston.
3) Salvador Perez
Perez finished 2-for-3 with two home runs. Saturday marked only the second multi-home run game of his career.
BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox 8-3 win over the Kansas City Royals:
David Price has found a groove.
Price finally brought his ERA below 4.00.
He’d been about that mark since his second start of the season. Twenty-six starts later, he finally reached the mark.
Saturday’s start marked Price’s fourth-straight quality start. Price will soon eclipse the 200-strikeout, reaching 186 K’s with his seven-strikeout performance.
Although the lefty hasn’t been at his best throughout much of the year, he’s caught fire of late.
Possibly at the most important part of the season, too.
Dustin Pedroia just missed making history, can’t buy an out.
Boston’s second baseman entered Saturday with seven hits in his last seven at-bats. He stretched that streak to 11-for-11 with a 4-for-4 game.
He had the chance to go 12-for-12 in the eighth, but weakly grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
He’s also the first Red Sox player with three straight four-hit games at Fenway Park since 1913.
Boston’s second baseman continues to prove that his struggles in recent years were directly related to injuries, not diminishing performance.
The offense passed a big test.
It might’ve appeared that Danny Duffy was a middle-of-the-road pitcher with the way Red Sox hitters tattooed him in Saturday’s win.
But the right only had one loss in 19 starts, with a 2.66 ERA (2.61 as a starter).
Between the long balls and Dustin Pedroia’s incessant ways of late, they ballooned his ERA to 3.01.
A respectable number, still, but a jump of nearly a half of a run.
Sandy Leon’s in a minor cold spell.
Possibly the greatest story of Boston’s 2016 offense, Leon hasn’t had too many struggles along the way.
But after finishing 0-for-4 Saturday night, he’s only 2-for-21 (.095) in his last five games.
Saturday also marked only the third time all season where he was held hitless in back-to-back games.
These things happen to everyone, but it was starting to look like Leon didn’t fall under the category of “everyone.”