Lackey in mid-season form


Lackey in mid-season form

By Maureen Mullen

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- John Lackey approached his third start of the spring as if it was a regular season game. The result: 4 23 innings, giving up one run on six hits with no walks and three strikeouts in the Red Sox 9-2 win over the Marlins at City of Palms Park.

Today I kind of pitched more like I would during the season, he said. I incorporated a lot more pitches today, as oppose to the first two times I was pretty fastball- heavy. So today it was more like a regular season start and I was able to throw some off-speed pitches behind in the count and do some things that I need to do in the season.

Despite his approach today, hes still working on a few things, including his cutter.

I probably only threw four or five of them, he said. Had one little backdoor one for a strikeout, which was nice. Located that one good.

After Lackey got Emilio Bonifacio to fly out for the first out of the fifth inning, manager Terry Francona came out to get the right-hander. Lackey had thrown 75 pitches, 49 for strikes.

I thought he was good, Francona said. He gave up some hits, but I never felt like he was out of control of the game. Gave up some base hits but only gave up the one run. Always seemed like he was in command of what he was doing. Changed speeds. I thought he did fine.

Francona wanted Lackey to start the fifth to get the feel for getting ready for that number of innings.

Me not being a pitcher, I dont know that, but when you talk to pitching coaches they really want that, Francona said. That up and down is important as we continue to try and stretch them out, get them stronger. So we knew he was going to go out for one hitter. Im not trying to get in the middle of the game and make a bunch of pitching changes but we wanted him to get that other up and down. Thats just something in the progression of getting ready.

Lackey expects to be back on a five-day schedule before his next start, adding an extra day into his routine after preparing for the start of the season.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Red Sox place Pomeranz on DL, but he may not miss a start

Red Sox place Pomeranz on DL, but he may not miss a start

Roster flexibility, something of substance, or a combination of both?

The Red Sox on Thursday placed Drew Pomeranz on the brand new 10-day disabled list because of a left forearm flexor strain.

"It's become more and more clear he's not ready to begin the season," John Farrell told reporters, including The Providence Journal's Tim Britton, on Thursday morning.

The Sox don’t need a fifth starter, Pomeranz’s potential spot, until April 9. He can be activated before then. So, in effect, the trip to the DL frees up an extra roster spot.

Farrell said the team hopes Pomeranz will be able to make his scheduled start but "is certainly not guaranteeing it."

The situation could prove an interesting look at how MLB handles its new 10-day disabled list. If Pomeranz continues on his previously planned schedule, the Red Sox could be seen as simply be using the 10-day DL to their advantage. But Farrell spoke earlier this spring about how he expected MLB to highly scrutinize trips to the DL.

Pomeranz’s forearm is known not to be in the best of shape, considering he went for a stem-cell injection this offseason.

Porcello 'feels as good as I've felt all spring' in Red Sox' 5-3 loss


Porcello 'feels as good as I've felt all spring' in Red Sox' 5-3 loss

Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz combined to allow all five of the Red Sox' runs in Boston's 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Porcello finished his start by fanning four, allowing four hits and earning two runs over four innings. Pomeranz followed in the next four innings with four strikeouts, five hits allowed and three earned runs. Pomeranz allowed ByungHo Park's eighth-inning, two-run homer, which ended up being the game-winner.

Porcello, however, was optimistic after the loss.

"The buildup was good," Porcello told reporters, via "Today I felt as good as I've felt all spring. At this point, I'm ready to go. I'm looking forward to the start of the season."

While the Sox offense was able to get three runs off Ervin Santana in his 4 2/3 innings, they struggled against the Twins' next five pitchers. Xander Bogaerts (2 of 3) and Pablo Sandoval (1 of 3) managed homers. Hanley (3 of 3) Ramirez had a double, and Dustin Pedroia (2 of 3) had two singles.

Kyle Kendrick will start Thursday in the Sox' final Spring Training series against the Washington Nationals. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET.