Pregame notes: Lackey makes progress

191542.jpg

Pregame notes: Lackey makes progress

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

DETROIT Right-hander John Lackey, on the disabled list since May 12 with an elbow strain, continues to progress. Friday afternoon, he threw two innings of a simulated game, with about 40 pitches.

Lackey, threw all his pitches, saying he thought his command was pretty good while his velocity was close to what it should be.

It was pretty good, he said. I felt like I was locating my fastball pretty good today. Working on tightening up my cutter a little bit. Its gotten a little bit loose. Thats one of the main things I was working on.

I was pretty close to letting it go. Ill probably be a little sore tomorrow but it feels fine today.

Lackey is scheduled to make a rehab start, with about 70 pitches, Tuesday in Pawtucket. If everything goes well in that game, he should be ready to be activated.

I think thats what we're thinking right now, he said. But definitely have to see how I feel after the real game. I dont see why I shouldnt be ready.

Right-hander Bobby Jenks is scheduled to throw an inning in a rehab game tonight for Pawtucket. If his outing goes well, he will throw another inning for the PawSox on Sunday.

J.D. Drew is not in the lineup tonight, the third straight game he will have missed with a strained right hamstring. He said he could be available to pinch-hit tonight, if needed, and expects to be back in the lineup Saturday. He tweaked the hamstring making a catch in foul territory in the ninth inning of Tuesdays game in Cleveland.

I knew when I woke up the next morning, he said. I was like, Oh, this is not very good. I got to be kind of careful not to make it real bad. Feeling much better today though.

With Drews absence Carl Crawford has moved up to No. 6 in the lineup, coinciding with his offensive outburst. It could be a long-term move for Crawford, though.

Yeah, I think I kind of like the idea of moving him up in the order, Francona said. Because, first of all I think its justified. Hes hot as can be. I didnt want him to hit eighth for the whole year. I think that was pretty obvious. I didnt want to move Dustin Pedroia out of the two hole. So I could see that being that way for a while. As soon as I say that something will happen.

Shortstop Marco Scutaro hit off a tee for the third consecutive day, as he makes his way back from the DL (since May 8) with a left oblique strain. He said he hasnt felt any pain in his side, and could advance to hitting in the cage on Sunday.

Its the first time in his career hes been on the DL. How is he handling it? Im bored, he said. Actually, I was bored a couple of weeks ago.

Talking about the collision at home plate that left Giants catcher Buster Posey injured and likely out for the season, Francona recalled a similar play from his own career: Mike Scioscia got me once. He hurt me. We were facing Fernando Valenzuela, so the lefties played. Bryan Little led off with a double. I hit a ball to right center. They end up giving me a double. They threw Bryan out at the plate. Scioscia charged him and just knocked him back towards third. I was standing on second laughing. Andre Dawson hits a base hit. The same thing happened to me. Neither one of us even got to the dirt. I slid, but he attacked me.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Quotes, notes and stars: Ramirez knows error 'can't happen'

red_sox_hanley_ramirez_072816.jpg

Quotes, notes and stars: Ramirez knows error 'can't happen'

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels ofAnaheim

Quotes:

"I tried to get two (outs) before I got one. That can't happen." - Hanley Ramirez on his throwing error which cost the Red Sox the game.

"Executing pitches - that's the name of the game." - David Price on improvement he showed from his last start.

"Fourth time through the order, middle of the lineup. . . Price had done his job. In a one-run game, we felt it was best to start a clean inning with a reliever." - John Farrell after lifting David Price after eight innings and 108 pitches.

Notes:

* Reliever Brad Ziegler was charged with the loss for the second straight game.

* Each of the last seven Red Sox losses has been by one or two runs.

* Dustin Pedroia has reached base in 31 consecutive games.

* The Red Sox four-game losing streak is their longest of the season.

* The Sox are now 9-23 in their last 32 meetings with the Angels.

* David Price did not allow a run for the second time this season.

Stars:

1) David Price

After a stretch of shaky outings, Price did his job with eight scoreless innings, getting 14 outs on groundouts while walking just one.

2) Jered Weaver

At times, the radar gun made Weaver's pitches look like softball offerings. But mixing junk, he held the Sox to a single run over 5 1/3 innings

3) Mookie Betts

He had just one hit - single in the eighth - but his sacrifice fly in the third produced the only run of the night.

First impressions: Ziegler can't finish Price's strong start

angels_nava_072816.jpg

First impressions: Ziegler can't finish Price's strong start

First impressions from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

1) David Price pitched in the truest sense

Price wasn't necessarily overpowering with only six strikeouts in eight innings, but he succeeded in keeping the ball down in the zone, resulting in a ton of groundouts.

In eight innings, the Angels produced just two fly outs to the outfield, both of them routine.

Otherwise, Price deftly mixed his changeup, slider and two-seamer to produce ground balls. His location was more precise and he induced weak contact in at-bat after at-bat.

2) The danger of a closer like Brad Ziegler was on display

The throwing error by Hanley Ramirez resulted in two runs scoring but Ziegler allowed three base hits to set the stage.

Ziegler doesn't get a lot of swing-and-miss with his sinker; what he gets is a lot of balls put in play. When things are going well, that results in groundouts; when they're not, it means baserunners and strange things happening.

As inconsistent as Craig Kimbrel has been in some non-save situations, he at least has the ability to record strikeouts and keep balls out of play.  That's not the case with Zieger, as the Red Sox learned the hard way in Anaheim Thursday night.

3) The Red Sox wisely took advantage of Jered Weaver on the bases

Weaver's high leg kick and reliance on off-speed pitches make for a slow delivery time to the plate. Dustin Pedroia would have easily stole second in the first but made the mistake of going into his slide too far ahead of the bag, and though initially ruled safe, was deemed out after a replay challenge.

In the sixth, Xander Bogaerts, was more successful in his stolen base. Neither steal led to a run, but the Sox did put some additional pressure on Weaver