Lackey's struggles continue, at worst possible time


Lackey's struggles continue, at worst possible time

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- John Lackey left Friday's game after three innings when he was struck on the left calf on a hard comebacker by Tampa Bay catcher John Jaso.

But Lackey might have been close to leaving anyway, having been lit up for five runs while needing 69 pitches to record the game's first nine outs.

"I could keep going back out there,'' said Lackey after the Sox lost to Tampa, 7-2. "But obviously I wasn't pitching very well and I wasn't helping out much, anyway.''

Lackey mislocated on a fastball down-and-in to Jaso in the second and Jaso drilled it for a three-run homer. In the third, he retired the first two hitters he faced, then allowed the next five hitters to reach, accounting for two more runs.

"I don't know, man . . . just didn't work out,'' said Lackey, who dropped to 12-12 while his ERA soared to 6.30.

Lackey has now lost three straight starts and has given up 15 runs in those three outings. At a time of year when the Sox need quality starts, Lackey seems incapable of providing them.

"I'm going to keep grinding and see what happens,'' said Lackey. "It's not fun. There is definitely some frustration. I kind of want to go bang my head against a wall. I just have to keep working at it. I'm doing everything I can, it's just not working out.''

It's unclear whether the calf contusion is going to cost him any time before his next start. Tentatively, the Sox had him slated to start Wednesday against Toronto at Fenway.

"The ball caught all flesh,'' said Terry Francona, "so that, in the big scheme of things, is good. It's sore. He got hit hard. They've got compression and ice on it and everything, so hopefully, he'll show up Saturday and it will subside enough so that he can make his next start. We'll keep an eye on him.''

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Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists


Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists

Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field, Mookie Betts in right and Dustin Pedroia at second base are the Red Sox' finalists for the American League Gold Glove awards.

The Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar and the Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier are the other A.L. center field finalists. The White Sox’ Adam Eaton and Astros’ George Springer are A.L. right field finalists. Joining Pedroia as second base finalists are the Mariners’ Robinson Cano and Tigers’ Ian Kinsler.

Peoria has won four Gold Gloves. Bradley and Betts have yet to win one.

The full list of finalists is here.  The awards will be presented on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. on ESPN

The Red Sox sent out a series of tweets backing each player’s candidacy.

Betts is also a front-runner for the American League Most Valuable Player.


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League

CLEVELAND -- David Ortiz is heading into retirement with some more hardware.

The Boston Red Sox slugger captured the Hank Aaron Award on Wednesday as the top hitter in the American League this season. Budding Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant was honored as the top hitter in the National League.

The award was presented before Game 2 of the World Series between the Cubs and Cleveland. It was determined through a combination of fan voting and a panel that includes Aaron and other Hall of Fame players.

The 40-year-old Ortiz hit .315 with 38 home runs, 127 RBIs and 48 doubles in the 20th and final season of his major league career. His 541 career home runs rank 17th all-time.

The 24-year-old Bryant hit .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBIs while helping the Cubs cruise to the NL Central title and eventually a spot in the World Series. Shortly after being honored, Bryant singled in the first inning for his first Series hit.