John Lackey pitched seven strong innings and the Boston Red Sox pounded out 14 hits against the Texas Rangers in a 5-1 series-opening victory at Fenway Park on Monday night.
Lackey (2-0) allowed an earned run on five hits and two walks, striking out five before ceding the mound to Chris Capuano for the eighth and then Koji Uehara, who yielded two hits before closing out the rainy ninth with a swinging strikeout of Leonys Martin.
Right fielder Jackie Bradley led the way for the offense with three hits in four trips, slapping RBI singles in the second and fourth innings against Texas starter Tanner Scheppers (0-1). Mike Napoli also drilled three hits, while Daniel Nava claimed his first RBI of the season on an eighth inning single off reliever Shawn Tolleson.
Bradley also contributed to Lackey’s stellar line with hustling defense, saving a run with a sliding catch and later making a brilliant over-the-shoulder grab:
Bradley makes another remarkable play in RF — fly ball over his head from Arencibia, he turns, sprints back and stabbed it in the corner
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) April 7, 2014
The Sox still left 11 on base but had more than enough to win. New acquisitions Grady Sizemore and A.J. Pierzynski contributed two and three hits, respectively. But the star was Bradley, who has an opportunity to get some at-bats and put an uninspiring spring training behind him while Shane Victorino is on the disabled list.
The Red Sox have an odd start time of 6:10 pm when they square off with the Rangers tomorrow night. Felix Doubront (1-0) is on the notch for the home team against Martin Perez (0-0) in a battle of left-handers. And did I mention, it’s Toga Night at Fenway?