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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Bob Neumeier and Gary Tanguay talk about the Boston Red Sox' plans for Brad Ziegler, Clay Buchholz, and who will be pitching in the 8th inning.
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.
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.
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
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