Notes: Lackey pays for mistakes


Notes: Lackey pays for mistakes

By Maureen Mullen Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON After finally pushing his record above. 500 for the first time all season in his last start, John Lackey could not extend that against the Indians -- who have won just twice in their last 10 games -- Monday night at Fenway Park. Lackey went 6 23 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. He was not involved in the decision, though, as the Sox lost 9-6. It was the first time in 18 starts this year he has not been the pitcher of record.

Lackey tied a season high with two home runs, giving up back-to-back homers in the seventh -- a two-run shot to Asdrubal Cabrera and a solo homer to Travis Hafner. It was the first time he has allowed consecutive home runs while with the Sox. The last time he did so was Aug. 9, 2008 while with the Angels to the Yankees Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi.

In retiring the first eight batters he faced before giving up a single to Ezequiel Carrera in the third, Lackey recorded a 1-2-3 first inning for the first time this season.

The 17 starts with a decision was a career high. No other pitcher in the majors has had as many decisions to start the year. The last Sox pitcher with at least 17 consecutive decisions in starts was Time Wakefield, who went 16-10 in his first 26 starts in 2007.

I thought he threw the ball really well, said manager Terry Francona. I thought his fastball was crisp, I thought his changeup, as has been of late, was really good. He made some mistakes and paid for them. Tried to get a breaking ball down under a left-hander's bat and left it too much of the plate. Went away to Hafner where hes had a lot of success. Probably throwing too many in a row or didnt quite get it where he wanted to. He hit it a long way. As a staff tonight we paid for our mistakes.

Red Sox pitchers gave up four home runs in the game, with Daniel Bard giving up a go-ahead two-run shot to Cabrera and Matt Albers giving up a ninth-inning solo homer to Jason Kipnis. The four homers allowed tie the Sox season-high for the fourth time this season, and the first since April 9 against the Yankees.

I thought Lackey was good, said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. I thought he was sharp. Couple of pitches that he left over the plate that they were able to hit. They didnt miss the pitches. But he was sharp. We used all his pitches. I thought his velocity was good, curveball, changeup. So, to me I thought he was really good.

His line did not jibe with how Lackey felt about his outing.

I thought I was better than five runs, he said.

Left-hander Erik Bedard, acquired at the trading deadline Sunday from the Mariners, is scheduled to make his his first start for the Red Sox Thursday against the Indians.

Bedard started Friday for the Mariners against the Rays. He gave up five runs in 1 13 innings, throwing 57 pitches (28 strikes), allowing three hits and four walks with two strikeouts. It was his first start since June 27, after going on the disabled with a sprained knee. He is 4-7 with a 3.45 ERA in 16 starts for the Mariners this season.

The Sox do not have an off-day until Aug. 11, and then have another on Aug. 15, before a doubleheader with the Rays on Aug. 16. Starting Bedard Thursday gives him an extra day rest and allows manager Terry Francona to give his other starters an extra day of rest, as well.

That way we can back up Jon Lester, give him an extra day, Francona said. So everybody slides back a day. We dont have a day off until we leave to go to Seattle on Aug. 11. So up to that point well kind of stick with six starters. Andrew Miller will be in the bullpen Thursday. Bedard I think threw 57 pitches in an inning and one-third. It was almost like he hadnt pitched in a month. The way we interpreted it from the Seattle guys is if he had pitched on Wednesday, they were going to hold him to about 75 or 80. So we probably need to somewhat stick with that also. So well have Andrew out there just to keep an eye on our bullpen. if Miller doesnt pitch in that game, hell take his normal turn Monday in Minnesota. If he does, hell pitch Tuesday in Minnesota and Tim Wakefield will stay on his normalWe can flip-flop those two.

Bedard, a sxith-round pick of the Orioles in 1999, is expected to arrive in Boston on Tuesday.

I talked to him Sunday a little bit, Francona said. He was terrific. Said he was looking forward to it and we talked about his day to pitch sohe can get himself settled when he gets here and everything. We look forward to getting him going. The one thing we have to recognize is he hasnt pitched a lot the last month so we got to kind of want to get him ramped up so we can . . . get the most out of him. Well keep an eye on him.

Francona likes Bedards breaking ball.

The way its been explained to me, he can wake up at 3 o'clock in the morning and he spins his breaking ball. Hes also done it in the American League East, which is something to think about. Ive seen what hes done to us, so were excited.

Francona said Bedards knee would not be an issue.

Hes got the brace on but hes OK, Francona said.

Saltalamacchia went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, extending his hitting streak to nine games, tying a career high.

I feel good, fell comfortable at the plate, he said. For me just putting quality plate appearances together, feeling comfortable at the plate is good. But its not as good if you dont get the win.

He now has 36 RBI this season, a new career high. He hit his 10th home run of the season in the sixth, a two-run, broken-bat shot to right, scoring Carl Crawford. The splintered end of Saltalamacchias bat landed just past first base.

I was looking at the ball because I hit it on the good part of the bat, he said. I felt the bat break, but I saw the ball still going. So I was kind of trying to see if it was going to hook around the pole or keep going or what.

Marco Scutaro left in the middle of the fourth inning because of dizziness. After the game he said he felt light-headed during batting practice, saying an energy drink could have caused it.

Im feeling batter now, kind of calmed down. Was a little dizzy, he said after the game.

I just felt kind of dizzy and my heart beat was kind of fast, a little shaky, he said.

It started during BP and then I came up here to the clubhouse and I ate something, and feeling kind of good. But when the game started, I start kind of feeling like that again. But it wasnt as bad as like BP time. And I just told them, they check and everything was fine.

Francona said Scutaro was examined during the game and checked out fine but will be re-examined on Tuesday.

Just not something to play with, Francona said.

Mike Aviles pinch-hit for Scutaro in the fourth, making his Fenway debut as a member of the Sox. He also took Scutaros place at shortstop.

Jed Lowrie, on the DL since June 17 with a left shoulder strain, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket Monday night, going 0-for-2, playing the first three innings at shortstop. He is expected to serve as the PawSox DH on Tuesday.

Everything was fine physically, Francona said.

Adrian Gonzalez went 1-for-4, extending his hit streak to 11 games, his longest of the season. He is batting.511, going 24-for-47 with three doubles, a home run, 12 RBI, 10 runs scored and 4 walks in that span.

Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-5, extending his home hit streak to 23 games since June 4. He is batting .419 in that span. It is the third longest home hitting streak by a Sox batter since 1919, and the longest since Nomar Garciaparras 31-game stretch from April 20 June 28, 2003.

Carl Crawfords third-inning home run was his seventh of the season and first since June 8 at Yankee Stadium. It was just his second home run of the season at Fenway. The other was June 5 against the As.

There is no official word on right-hander Clay Buchholz, who was examined by Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles Monday. It is believed the right-hander has a stress fracture in his back and could be shut down for the season. The teams medical staff, general manager Theo Epstein, and Buchholz were expected to talk about Watkins findings. Francona said there could be some news after Mondays game or on Tuesday.

The scheduled pitching match-ups for the series against the Indians are John Lackey and Cleveland right-hander Josh Tomlin Monday night, Josh Beckett and left-hander David Huff on Tuesday, Tim Wakefield and Carlos Carrasco (who will appeal his six-game suspension) on Wednesday, and Bedard and right-hander Justin Masterson on Thursday. Lester, Lackey, and Beckett are expected to start the three games against the Yankees at Fenway Park this weekend.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen.

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'a pitch or two from finishing the job' vs. Rays


Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'a pitch or two from finishing the job' vs. Rays

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay Rays:


"Part of that job is, when you miss, you have to miss to the extreme.'' - John Farrell on the role of eighth-inning reliever Clay Buchholz, who mislocated a fastball to Evan Longoria.

"We're putting ourselves in position to close games out and yet we've found ourselves a pitch or two from finishing the job.'' - Farrell on the team's bullpen woes.

"Fastball. I was trying to throw it up-and-away, and I pulled it, more inner-third. That's a spot where he hits the ball a long way.'' - Clay Buchholz on the game-winning homer by Longoria.



* The Rays and Sox have played 21 one-run games in the lasr four seasons and four in the last week.

* David Ortiz's sacrifice fly in the sixth was his 26th go-ahead RBI, fourth-best in the A.L.

* Xander Bogaerts collected his 500th career hit, and became the fifth Red Sox player to reach that milestone before turning 24.

* Brock Holt's double in the fifth lifted his average to .337 with two outs.

* Hanley Ramirez's home run was his first against Tampa Bay since May 21, 2011 when he was with the Marlins.

* Ramirez has 19 extra-base hits in the last 27 home games.

* Dustin Pedroia was 1-for-3 and and is now 15-for-his-last-19 at Fenway.

* The Sox dropped to 7-37 when they score three runs or fewer.

* Brad Ziegler was unavailable, suffering from the flu.



1) Evan Longoria

It wouldn't be a Rays win over the Red Sox without the third baseman doing some damage. Sure enough, he smoked a tape-measure shot over everything in left in the eighth to provide the winning margin for the visitors.

2) Luke Maile

Drew Pomeranz struck him out twice, but Maile more than got revenge in the seventh with a two-run homer into the Monster Seats to tie the game.

3) Hanley Ramirez

The first baseman had a three-hit night, including a solo homer and a run-scoring single, accounting for two of the three Red Sox runs.


First impressions: Longoria makes Buchholz pay in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays


First impressions: Longoria makes Buchholz pay in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays

BOSTON - First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay:

* There's a steep learning curve for a set-up man, as Clay Buchholz discovered.

Although he's pitched out of the bullpen for the last couple of months, most of those appearances weren't of the high leverage variety. More often than not, the Sox had a sizeable lead, or Buchholz was brought in earlier in the game. Or they were behind and he was mopping up.

But Tuesday was different. The Rays had battled back to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, and after Matt Barnes got the final out in that inning, Buchholz came in to start the eighth.

After getting Kevin Kiermaier on a groundout to lead off the inning, Buchholz threw a four-seamer to Evan Longoria that the Tampa Bay third baseman launched toward the Charles River, clearing everything and putting the Rays up by a run.

It was a reminder that in late innings of close games, one pitch, with missed location, can really hurt.


* Hanley Ramirez knocked in two runs. He was sort of lucky.

In the fifth inning, Ramirez hit a twisting opposite-field fly ball down the right field line. It landed just past the Pesky Pole in right, measured at 307 feet, the shortest homer in baseball this season, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Then, an inning later, Ramirez hit a pop fly that drifted into shallow right. Three Rays defenders converged -- first baseman, second baseman and right fielder -- and somehow the ball dropped in between all three for a run-scoring single.

Two cheap hits, two RBI.

At times, you'll see hitters mash the ball, only to have it hit right at someone for an out. Rotten luck, and all.

Tuesday night, Ramirez got to experience the flip side of that.


* Drew Pomeranz had an excellent outing -- until his final pitch of the night.

Through 6 2/3 innings, Pomeranz had allowed a single run on four hits while walking two and striking out eight.

He had retired 10 of the previous 11 hitters he had faced, and while he was approaching his 100th pitch, showed no evidence of tiring.

Then, Pomernaz hung a curveball to No. 9 hitter Luke Maile -- with two strikes, no less -- and Maile hit into the Monster Seats for a game-tying, two-run homer.

It was the first homer on a curveball allowed by Pomeranz in 153 innings this season, and all of a sudden, the outing wasn't so special.