Lackey takes it easy in spring debut

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Lackey takes it easy in spring debut

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

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."

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

Tim Tebow shows solid power, shaky skills in MLB workout

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Tim Tebow shows solid power, shaky skills in MLB workout

LOS ANGELES — Tim Tebow has taken his first big swing at a baseball career, showing off a powerful bat and a few areas of needed improvement in a workout for dozens of major league scouts.

The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback worked out at the University of Southern California's Dedeaux Field on Tuesday. Scouts and reporters tracked, timed and recorded his every move.

Tebow's 255-pound muscled physique and 6.70-ish time in the 60-yard dash were impressive. So was a series of long homers into the trees and off the scoreboard.

The 29-year-old outfield hopeful also showed he still needs baseball seasoning. Former big-leaguers David Aardsma and Chad Smith repeatedly fooled him with off-speed pitches later in the hitting drills.

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: Pedroia returns, Pomeranz on mound

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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: Pedroia returns, Pomeranz on mound

Dustin Pedroia returns to the lineup after missing two games to attend a family funeral as the Red Sox play the middle game of their three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays tonight at Fenway Park.

Pedroia is back at second base, batting leadoff, as the Red Sox look to make it two in a row coming off a 9-4 victory on Monday night.

Brock Holt, who filled in a second in Pedroia’s absence, moves to left field and Bryan Holaday catches left-hander Drew Pomeranz (10-10, 2.95 ERA) for Boston. Pomeranz struck out a career-high 11 in his last start against the Rays, last Thursday in St. Petersburg. 

Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (9-5, 3.53) starts for the Rays.

The lineups:

RAYS

Logan Forsythe 2B

Kevin Kiermaier CF

Evan Longoria 3B

Brad Miller 1B

Matt Duffy DH

Tim Beckham SS

Scott Souza Jr. RF

Corey Dickerson LF

Luke Maile C

Jake Odorizzi RHP

 

RED SOX

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Xander Bogaerts SS

David Ortiz DH

Mookie Betts RF

Hanley Ramirez 1B

Travis Shaw 3B

Brock Holt LF

Bryan Holaday C

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Drew Pomeranz LHP