This was the game that John Lackey has dreamed about for two and a half years. His Red Sox history of frustration, underperformance and injury was wiped away at least for a day today against the Colorado Rockies.
Lackey fired seven innings of high-quality, high-octane ball. He struck out a career high 12 Rockies while scattering eight hits and two runs over Boston’s late afternoon (4:05 start) outing.
To be clear, Lackey has not pitched poorly in 2013 but has rather been the unwilling recipient of lack of run support or bullpen collapses. As of today his ERA is 2.99. His control has been pinpoint. In 78.1 innings pitched, Lackey has walked only 17 batters. Today was no different.
In stark relief to his Ks, Lackey walked zero Colorado batters while popping the radar gun in the mid 90s on occasion.
After giving up a run in the top of the first Lackey received his long-awaited run support. A very hot Jacoby Ellsbury doubled to open the bottom of the frame. Shane Victorino singled to score Ellsbury. David Ortiz continued his hot hitting ways, doubling home Victorino and Daniel Nava singled to score Ortiz.
The Sox piled on two more runs in the third on a Victorino single (3-4, 2 runs scored), a Dustin Pedroia single and an Ortiz walk to load the bases. Mike Napoli singled to score Victorino and Daniel Nava hit a sac fly to score Pedey.
Andrew Miller gave up a homer to Michael Cuddyer in the eighth, Cuddyer’s second of the game, but that was all for the Rocks. Koji Uehara, in his first appearance as Boston’s new closer, shut the door in the ninth by striking out two en route to retiring the side.
Boston, behind Jon Lester, starts a crucial four game series against the red hot Blue Jays (12 wins in their last 14 attempts) Thursday at 7:10 as their home stand continues.