It was a wonderful, weird and ironic day at Jet Blue Park Tuesday afternoon. First the wonderful.
John Lackey pitched three innings of shutout ball against team Puerto Rico, scattering three hit, striking out two and walking none. Lackey threw 45 pitches, 31 for strikes. The weird and ironic award goes to Clayton Mortensen, who though allowing three runs in three innings of work, ironically got the win.
Boston got one run for Lackey on a solo homer by Will Middlebrooks in the second inning. Mike Napoli repeated the fete in the fourth with Mortensen in the game, his second homer in three days. Boston went ahead for good during a two-run fifth inning on a ground-rule double by Mitch Maier that scored Ryan Lavarnway and a Stephen Drew single that plated Maier with Boston’s fourth and final run.
Lackey told MLB.com’s Ian Browne, ”I felt really good tonight. It was a really good day in the process. I felt like my arm strength’s getting better. It feels like it’s getting better each time out.”
Lackey, who is coming back from and 18 month hiatus and rehab stint since Tommy John surgery, has had a progressively strong spring for the Sox.
Former Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles, now with the Indians, had two hits for Puerto Rico.