Lackey not focused on run support

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Lackey not focused on run support

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - Losing is frustrating enough for the Boston Red Sox, but when they dont come through with run support for their pitchers, that only adds to it.

On Saturday, John Lackey (2-3, 5.65 ERA) threw 113 pitches over six innings, giving up just two runs, seven hits, while recording three strikeouts. His efforts were all for naught, though, as the Red Sox (11-15) went 0-for-11 with men in scoring position in their 2-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners (13-15).

After the game, Lackeys teammates were carrying the responsibility for failing to produce run support.

We just didnt score any runs for him, said Kevin Youkilis. He threw the ball great and we just came up short offensively. Its a shame that we couldnt get enough runs for him and get him a W, but weve just got to keep battling and tomorrows another day.

Lackey said he was able to locate his breaking ball well but did not have the same fastball command as he did in his previous outing, a win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Ichiro Suzuki scored the first run of the game in the third inning off a double to left by Milton Bradley. Later in the sixth, Jack Cust scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Jack Wilson.

I felt pretty good, Lackey said. I made some pitches. The first run, had a ball hit right on the line on me, and the shift kind of got me on the second run (Cust's leadoff single was a routine grounder to the left side that got through to the outfield because the Sox infielders were overshifted to the right on the left-handed-hitting Cust). What are you going to do?

Terry Francona relieved Lackey after the sixth inning and was impressed with his performance.

On a lot of nights, were commending him for not giving in and throwing his breaking ball behind the count and getting back in the counts, but we didnt do anything offensively, he said. He wanted to stay out there and I thought he was effective. I just didnt want to get in a position where we dont have many days off so weve got to keep the starters on track.

Lackey is staying focused on his job at hand and not worrying about his teammates. He has confidence in the players around him and believes they can take care of business on their own.

Im not going to comment on all that, he said when asked about the runners left in scoring position. Weve got a lot of guys with a lot of good track records on the offensive side I think will get going. As pitchers, weve just got to keep handling our business. Weve got enough to worry about on our own.

In the meantime, his teammates will try to do what they can to help.

Thats John Lackey, said Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Thats the guy that goes out there and just battles. Thats what he did tonight. He pitched his butt off and I just wish we could have got that win for him.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba

Quotes, notes and stars: Barnes takes the blame in loss

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Quotes, notes and stars: Barnes takes the blame in loss

BOSTON -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 10-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals:

QUOTES

“That one’s one me. I’ve got to do a better job of securing that lead and getting out of that inning.” - Matt Barnes on giving up the lead.

“When he tries to go down and away to right-handers, the ball’s leaking back to the middle a bit. That was the case against [Lorenzo] Cain [and Raul] Mondesi in this case tonight. It’s on the plate first pitch, bases loaded he’s trying to get a strike to get ahead. But in general, Barnes has pitched to the edge at times and missed, and then when he’s on the plate it’s probably found the middle of the plate a bit too much.” - John Farrell on Barnes’ outing.

“I think everybody in that bullpen believes in every single person down there.” - Barnes said on the bullpen.

“It was good, everything was good . . . Just the fastball command was a little out of control.” - Eduardo Rodriguez on his left hamstring and his performance.

 

NOTES

* David Ortiz launched his 31st home run of the season, which also marked the 534th of his career, tying Jimmie Foxx for 18th on the all-time home run chart.

* Mookie Betts recorded his Major League-leading 56th multi-hit game of the season.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. finished 1-for-2, bumping his average to .317 (77-for-243) at Fenway this season.

* The Red Sox grounded into four double plays, tying their season high on 6/12 against Minnesota.

* Matt Barnes’ ERA jumped from 3.68 before Sunday’s game to 4.45 after giving up 5 runs without recording an out.

 

STARS

1) Raul Mondesi

Mondesi’s bases-clearing triple in the sixth opened the floodgates and gave Kansas City the lead they would continue to build off.

2) Matt Strahm

 Strahm relieved Yordano Ventura after his short 4 and 1/3-inning outing. He held the Red Sox scoreless through 2.2 innings to earn his second win of the season.

3) Salvador Perez

Perez launched his sixth home run in his last eight games against Boston. He became the Royal to homer in three-straight games at Fenway since Billy Butler did in 2011.

First impressions: Red Sox implode in 6th inning, lose to Royals, 10-4

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First impressions: Red Sox implode in 6th inning, lose to Royals, 10-4

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 10-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals:

 

Boston’s bullpen continues to be a roll of the dice every night.

This time Matt Barnes was the latest reliever to suffer from the plague that’s filled this bullpen all season.

Part of it was bad luck on two perfectly placed balls, the other part was Raul Mondesi lacing a triple, and Lorenzo Cain smacking a single.

Robbie Ross was better, but not by much.

No lead seems safe in the hands of any Boston reliever.

 

David Ortiz keeps putting himself in the same breath as legendary Hall of Famers.

This time it was former Red Sox great Jimmie Foxx, who Ortiz is now tied with at 534 home runs, 18th all time.

Early in the season he’d match a legendary player every so often, it was impressive. Now it’s almost to be expected every night he plays.

Next on the all-time home run list is Yankee Legend Mickey Mantle with 536.

 

The bottom of the order continues to play an important role in Boston’s run production.

Chris Young got things started in the fifth, then Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. kept it rolling so both Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts could cash in all three runners.

Moving JBJ back to ninth Saturday proved to be a good move, and moving Leon back down with his recent scuffles seems to be the best move, too.

Not only can they knock each other in any given instance, but they also put Dustin Pedroia (or Holt) and Bogaerts in run-producing situations, as opposed to just setting the table.

 

Chris Young’s hamstring shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

He was able to leg out the soft grounder to third base in the first inning.

Young has lost a step or two with age, but it seemed like he opened it up on the play.

Hopefully that’s a sign of the end of the injuries in left field this season.

 

Junichi Tazawa looked strong.

That’s more so an observation of his fastball reaching 94 mph.

Tazawa has a long way to go before he’s back to where he was, but the righty took a step in the right direction Sunday night. He retired Kansas City’s 2-3-4 hitters in his first inning and working past a leadoff single in his second inning of work.