The Red Sox’ de facto ace, John Lackey, took to the mound as the Red Sox opened up the final leg of this 10-game homestand as they defeated the San Diego Padres 4-1 in the opener of a three game series.
Lackey was outstanding once again as he gets further away from Tommy John surgery. His numbers tonight: eight innings, six hits, one earned run, one walk and six strikeouts in 103 pitches.
Lackey breezed through the first four innings in 50 pitches before running into a slight jam in the fifth with two on, but he was able to pitch out of that by getting Chris Denorfia to line out to second and strand two Padres.
San Diego rookie starter Robbie Erlin was not as fortunate.
Recent call up Brandon Snyder gave the Sox a 3-0 lead as he struck the only real blow of the first four innings by crushing a bases loaded, three-run double to deep center in the fourth, just missing a grand slam by inches. Snyder was thrown out at third trying to stretch it into a triple but not before David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia all came around to score.
Jose Iglesias’ hot bat added to the lead in the sixth as he singled home Jonny Gomes with two out to make it 4-0 before getting caught in a rundown after the Padres inexplicably cut off the throw to home.
Lackey gave up a solo home run to Jesus Guzman in the seventh but, other than that, he was flawless. That included inducing Carlos Quentin into an 0-4 night. Quentin came into the game 8 for 13 lifetime against Lackey with four homers.
After Lackey’s eight strong, new closer Koji Uehara closed things out in the ninth for his fourth save.