Lackey takes hard luck loss vs. Phillies

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Lackey takes hard luck loss vs. Phillies

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
PHILADELPHIA -- John Lackey's start Wednesday night was leaps and bounds better than his last. After getting shelled in the rain last Wednesday, Lackey allowed just two runs over 7 23 innings in a losing effort.

"I felt pretty good,'' said Lackey, whose record dropped to 5-7. "I was locating a little bit of everything and mixing things up pretty well and gave us a chance.''

"I thought he was tremendous,'' said Terry Francona. "I thought he threw as good a breaking ball as we've seen. I think he felt the same way. He got us deep into the game, but we scored one run. That's a hard way to win. I thought he did terrific.''

Lackey walked one and struck out five while allowing eight hits.

"For the most part, since coming off the DL, I've thrown the ball pretty good,'' said Lackey. "I had one bad start in the rain and that's about it. I feel stronger than I did before (going on the) DL.''

Baseball analyst Peter Gammons, speaking on WEEI Wednesday, suggested that Lackey may require Tommy John surgery in August.

"You never know...I don't know,'' said Lackey. "What did it look like tonight? (Tommy John surgery) is a possibility for everyone in here. You throw that against the wall and see if it sticks. I think he straight made that up.''

GM Theo Epstein wouldn't confirm surgery being on the table, but parsed his words carefully.

"He was on the DL, obviously, for the elbow earlier in the year,'' said Epstein. "And I think it's been discussed publicly that he was treated with a shot and some rest, and that alleviated a lot of the symptoms to allow him to come back.

"With all our players, once you have an injury, especially a pitcher with an elbow or a shoulder, you monitor it constantly throughout the course of the year. It's just something that we're going to continue to monitor and make sure he's doing OK. He's taking the mound tonight, we'll watch him see how he's doing.

Pressed about the likelihood of surgery, Epstein again was careful in his response.

"You could say the same thing about every pitcher in baseball,'' Epstein said, "that every pitcher in baseball might have to have Tommy John surgery at some point. But, as I said, John had an elbow injury we're not hiding that. He had an elbow injury earlier in this year and he's had a history with some elbow issues in the past. The shot alleviated some of the symptoms, now it's our responsibility to monitor him and make sure those symptoms don't come back and make sure he's healthy enough to go out and pitch and pitch effectively. It's something as with all of our players that we monitor on a daily basis.''

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

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David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

BOSTON — David Price and Rick Porcello showed improvement on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday, important signs for the Red Sox after a difficult month for both pitchers prior to this homestand.

Price on Saturday night went six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, in a 6-3 loss to the Angels. He fanned five and his velocity has been consistently better this year than last year.

But the most important number was his walk total: one. He walked three batters in his previous start, and four in both of his starts prior.

“Two outings ago, the first start here in Fenway,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “There was better timing in his delivery and overall better separation over the rubber. And he carried that through I thought, even though there's a higher pitch count in Houston, and has been able to maintain it here. I can't say there was one specific thing. It's been more the timing over the rubber. And you're seeing him pitch out of the stretch exclusively. Just less moving parts in a better position to repeat it.”

After Price’s final inning, the telecast captured Price calling pitching coach Carl Willis into the tunnel. Neither Farrell nor Price detailed the conversation. 

“Yeah, everything was fine,” Farrell said of the conversation. “Everything is OK there.”

Price made it sound like he’s dealing with some sort of physical ailment, but was vague.

“There's a lot of stuff going on right now,” the pitcher said when asked about the desire to stay out there. “You don't want it to linger into the next start, or two or three weeks from now, and that's why we did what we did.”

Asked to elaborate, Price reinforced that the decision was to save his body for another day.

“You never want to come out of a game. But you have to look forward at the time,” Price said. “You don’t want today to cost you your next start or you know, the start after that. So that’s what happened.

“It has nothing to do with my elbow or anything like that. This is — you get past one thing and there’s another So that’s what it is.”

Price in New York in early June felt a blister develop on his ring finger. He missed an in-between start bullpen because of it.

Asked about the blister Saturday, Price said, “That one’s gone.”

Farrell indicated the blister was diminished, if not entirely gone.

“He's been dealing with that,” Farrell said. “I think while it's still present and maybe not as severe as it was when it first happened, I'm sure he's going to check on it occasionally."

Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

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Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

BOSTON - JC Ramirez rebounded from his shortest career start with six solid innings, Cameron Maybin doubled home a run and scored another and the Los Angeles Angels held off the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Saturday night.

The Angels look for their fifth series win in their last six on Sunday.

Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost for only the third time in their last 13 home games.

Ramirez (7-5) allowed one run and four hits with five strikeouts after lasting just three innings and giving up five runs in his previous start.

Blake Parker struck out pinch-hitter Chris Young with the bases loaded for the final out for his first save of the season after Boston scored twice in the ninth.

Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected by third-base umpire and crew chief Bill Miller after Fernando Abad was called for a balk, scoring a run that made it 5-1 in the seventh.