What a difference a day makes. 24 hours after a 12-3 Indians beat down of the Sox that must have had former Red Sox manager Terry Francona snickering, John Lackey pitched a rain soaked gem against the Tribe and Boston leveraged all their strengths at Fenway Park to even their series against the Indians.
Lackey was sharp from the get go. Unlike many of his starts since he came to Boston, he didn’t give up a big inning on Friday night. He pitched seven sterling innings, giving up just two hits and one unearned run while walking three and striking out eight. In so doing he notched a well-deserved win, his second strong outing in a row. In Lackey’s last two starts, he hasn’t allowed an earned run over 13 innings. Perhaps most encouraging is his 2.72 ERA. Koji Uehara and just called up Alfredo Aceves pitched scoreless frames to keep the Indians in check and complete the win.
After torrential rain that delayed the start of the game by 44-minutes, Lackey was helped early by Mike Carp who had been mired in a nasty 0 for 21 hitting slump. With two on in the second Carp yanked a Justin Masterson slider into the Red Sox bullpen to give Boston a 3-0 lead.
With both Will Middlebrooks (back spasms) and Shane Victorino (hamstring) heading to the 15-day DL today, Boston’s lineup of Iglesias at third and Carp in left field looked suspect but paid off. Carp homered and Iglesias went 1 for 3 and scored a run. Iglesias had previously played third base only once in his minor league career and for the first time in the bigs Friday night.
The defensive play of the game, possibly of the night in MLB, was Dustin Pedroia‘s diving stop behind second base and flip to Stephen Drew from the webbing of his glove that started an inning ending double play in the top of the second.
Friday night’s game was a nice bounce back win for Boston, who will try to win game three tomorrow at 1:35 pm behind Jon Lester.