ST. PETERSBURG -- John Lackey won't face major league hitters again until next spring training, but he did so Tuesday inside Tropicana Field in a significant test.
Lackey, who underwent Tommy John surgery last fall, threw two innings of a simulated game against some extra Red Sox players including Mauro Gomez, Daniel Nava, Ivan DeJesus and Guillermo Quiroz.
He threw two innings, totaling 27 pitches.
"He threw everything but his cutter," reported Bobby Valentine. "He feels really good about where he's at."
Next up for Lackey: pitching in an intrasquad game Sunday at the team's spring training facility in Fort Myers against some young minor leaguers on hand for the Instructional League.
Lackey will then get checked out by the medical staff back in Boston and that will end his 2012 season.
He's expected to have a normal off-season and be fully ready by the start of spring training.