Lackey takes it easy in spring debut

Lackey takes it easy in spring debut
March 2, 2011, 9:39 pm
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By Sean McAdam

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- John Lackey wasn't trying to fool anyone in his Grapefruit League debut Wednesday, so when former Red Sox shortstop Alex Gonzalez drove a pitch out of the ballpark for a solo homer in the first, Lackey wasn't about to give him much credit.

"I threw a bunch of fastballs," said a smiling Lackey, who pitched two innings in the Red Sox' 6-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. "It was pretty obvious what was coming and he hit one."

Lackey concentrated almost exclusive on four-seam fastballs in order to build arm strength and work on fastball command.

He said he already feels a bit stronger physically this season. That may be somewhat attributable to the loss of about 15 pounds, along with a slightly more aggressive approach to spring training.

"Coming into spring training in 2010," said Lackey, "I basically wanted to get through it healthy because I hadn't done that for the two years beforehand. I think I'm kind of walking a fine line of pushing it a little more this year and still making it through healthy."

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