Apr 2, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey (41) throws in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
John Lackey, a misleading 10-13 in 2013, took the mound in Baltimore against the Orioles free agent acquisition Ubaldo Jimenez, who is coming off a 13-9 season with his former team, the Cleveland Indians.
The Red Sox, fresh from a visit to the White House, captured their first win of the season 6-2 with six strong innings from Lackey (1-0), Mike Napoli getting four RBI (home run,single), David Ortiz getting a home run, Dustin Pedroia getting four singles and the bullpen shutting down the O’s.
In 2010 Jimenez was on the fast track to a Cy Young Award until Boston came to Colorado. Jimenez gave up six runs on ten hits in 5.1 innings. His ERA jumped from 1.15 to 1.60 and his season and award hopes took a downward spiral. In the third inning the Red Sox brought back some of those memories.
With one gone Pedroia, who had made a brilliant defensive play in the second, picked up his second hit of the game. Ortiz, he of the new contract extension, planted a home run in the right field stands. Sox up 2-0.
Apr 2, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) rounds third after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
In the last of the fourth the O’s got those two right back.
In the fifth, the Sox went back to playing long ball. Daniel Nava, once again in the lead-off slot, was hit by a pitch. With two gone Napoli, coming off a five home run spring training, collected his first home run of the season, putting Boston up 4-2.
Aug 27, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli (12) bats during the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Jimenez and Lackey were both finished after six. Jimenez (0-1) allowed four runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Lackey’s line was two runs on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts.
With one gone in the seventh Nava and Pedroia singled with a throwing error by third baseman Ryan Flaherty putting the runners on second and third. Ortiz got a free pass and Napoli responded with a single and two more RBI. Sox took a 6-2 lead and the game was turned over to the bullpen.