Lackey sharp in his second spring training outing


Lackey sharp in his second spring training outing

By MaureenMullen

FORT MYERS, Fla. - In his second Grapefruit League outing against the Orioles Monday afternoon at City of Palms Park, John Lackey went four scoreless innings, giving up one hit, in the Red Sox' 6-5 victory.

"I was happy with fastball location today," he said. "The rotation of my four-seam fastball was nice. It was nice and true. I still haven't started throwing my cutter yet. Probably ready to do that next start. It was a good step forward.

"I threw some really good changeups. I was really happy about that. Didn't throw that many curveballs. But the changeup was a big plus for me."

Manager Terry Francona was happy with what he saw.

"He was commanding very well," Francona said. "His touch and feel look so good. That was nice to see."

Of the 13 batters he faced, Lackey got groundball outs from seven.

"He's pitching to contact and throwing a lot of strikes, working ahead in the count," Francona said. "Just thought he had a real nice feel. It's still early in the spring for him. As far as velocity, he's probably the last on the staff out of the chute, and that's okay. He's been doing this a long time. But he certainly pitched very well."

Lackey threw 39 pitches, 29 for strikes. Looking to get to 55 total pitches, he went to the bullpen after his outing was complete and threw 16 more.

He has given up just one run in six combined innings this spring. In his last outing, against the Braves on Wednesday, he pitched two innings.

"I felt really good today," he said. "That's a pretty big jump in pitches from the last one. So I'll probably be pretty sore tomorrow."

Lackey has yet to incorporate a cutter into his game repertoire.

"That's okay with us," Francona said. "We don't want to ever say no, don't throw a certain pitch in spring training. But we'd like guys to establish their fastball, arm strength, arm speed before they start working on a cutter. Some guys get out there and you start competing and you want to get outs. Lack's been doing this long enough to know to get ready for the season."

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis hit three-run homers and left-hander Brian Johnson started and pitched two scoreless innings to help the Red Sox win their spring training opener, 9-6, over Northeastern University on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Johnson, who made one spot start in his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2015 but then was derailed by injuries and anxiety issues last season, struck out three and walked one Thursday. He's expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts in 2016.

Moreland, the left-handed hitting first baseman signed to a one-year deal after spending his first seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, and Travis, a right-handed hitting first base prospect coming back from knee surgery last season, each hit three-run homers in a six-run third inning.

Pablo Sandoval, attempting to reclaim the third-base job after missing nearly all of last season after surgery on his left shoulder, went 1-for-2 with a double. 

The Red Sox open Grapefruit League play Friday afternoon when they host the New York Mets at JetBlue Park. 

Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched


Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni sits down with Pedro Martinez and Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis to discuss one of Pedro's greatest games. 

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On September 10, 1999 at the height of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, Pedro Martinez struck out 17 Yankees in a complete game victory, with the only hit he allowed being a home run to Chili Davis. The two men recall that memorable night in the Bronx, and discuss the state of pitching in 2017.