With John Lackey (2-1) on the mound and coming off an exciting win at Yankee Stadium Friday night, the Red Sox were poised to get back to a .500 record and leave behind the uninspired play that has characterized the start of their season. Instead, the team put up another tepid performance, falling to their arch rivals in the Bronx 7-4.
Lackey did not have the command he enjoyed in his first two starts, painting the edges of the plate and keeping batters guessing. He left too many pitches up and around the center of the dish today as the Yankees played long-ball with his offerings. Brian McCann homered twice, and Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano each went deep once, accounting for six Yankees’ runs. Burke Badenhop surrendered a home run to Kelly Johnson in the bottom of the eighth inning for the seventh New York run.
Not only did Lackey surrender 10 hits over 5.2 innings, he was hit hard too. With the exception of the Soriano homer, which just cleared the “short porch” in right field, the Yankees crushed their hits against him. On a positive note, Lackey struck out six batters, and issued no walks.
Lefties Craig Breslow and Andrew Miller each worked 0.2 scoreless innings for the Sox. They struck out one Yankee apiece. Breslow allowed a hit and Miller walked a batter. Badenhop pitched the eighth inning, allowing three hits, including the Johnson homer, and stuck out one. His ERA remains at 9.00 for the season.
A.J. Pierzynski homered for the Red Sox in the second inning with Xander Bogaerts aboard, accounting for the Red Sox first two runs. It was the veteran catcher’s first roundtripper in a Boston uniform.
The Sox picked up two more runs in the seventh inning with a two-out bases loaded single by Mike Carp. The rally was squelched quickly when Carp was thrown out attempting to steal second base. Carp has only two career stolen bases, one of which came last year as part of a double steal against the Yankees.
Hiroki Kuroda (2-1) started for the Yankees and went 6.1 innings giving up six hits and four runs. He walked three and struck out five. Matt Thornton, Dellin Betances and Adam Warren each pitched effectively in relief. Warren struck out two of the three batters he faced. Shawn Kelley pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save.
The Sox continue to struggle offensively. They managed just seven hits, compared to 14 for New York, and are batting just .254 as a team on the season. David Ortiz and Mike Napoli each left three men on base.
Felix Doubront (1-1, 9.00) and Ivan Nova (1-1, 8.68) were both lit up in their last outings. They square-off against each other tomorrow at 8:10 p.m. EDT in front of a national TV audience as the Red Sox attempt to salvage a split of the four game series.