By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
BOSTON -- After 35 career starts and a 6.04 ERA against them, John Lackey had seen the type of offensive production the Texas Rangers were capable of.
They proved it again in start number 36 on Sunday.
Lackey gave up six earned runs to the Rangers in five innings in the Red Sox 11-4 loss. His one strikeout was contrasted with eight hits and three walks.
Theres a lot of history there, and theres a lot of guys that have some pretty good numbers, Terry Francona said after the game. That doesnt mean you cant beat them, but they work you pretty good. Theyre a good team.
Lackey (12-11, 6.11 ERA) pitched against the Rangers less then two weeks ago -- a win on August 23 in Texas. Even though he had success in that game, the proximity between the two starts gave the Rangers familiarity on Sunday. Lackey threw 103 pitches and left in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and no outs.
I dont have a whole lot of tricks left, he said. You try to change sequences and theyve got a good lineup. Theyre tough and they definitely worked me, had my pitch count up quite a bit there in the sixth inning. Just got enough of some hits to get me out of there and then things didnt go real good after that. It didnt contribute to being great.
Francona turned to Felix Doubront, who was called up from Pawtucket last week, to take back control of the game. While Lackey had seen the Rangers plenty of times, Doubront had faced them just three times in his career.
In only his second appearance with the Red Sox since being recalled, Doubront gave up three earned runs off of just 19 pitches. Francona acknowledged the pressure of the situation, but he sees Doubront playing in that type of circumstance.
Thats probably what hes going to have to do, he said. He just didnt throw enough strikes. . . . I think a strength of his is coming in, establishing fastball command, able to pitch with the fastball, both sides of the plate, and he just fell behind and he hung a breaking ball.
Lackey sympathized with his young teammate.
I left three runners out there with nobody out, so Felix came in there in a tough spot, especially for a young kid, he said. And to get booed after that, for a young kid thats pretty -- hes going to do a lot good things here. I felt bad for him.
As Lackey looks ahead to the remainder of the season, his expectations and goals stay the same, regardless of whether it is September or April.
To win. Thats what they always are, he said. Damn thing doesnt change (this) time of year. Im going to go out there and compete my butt off and see what happens.
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA