Lackey leads BoSox over Padres 4-1
By DOUG ALDEN
BOSTON (AP) John Lackey had a simple explanation for his recent resurgence.
"I'm healthy," Lackey said after pitching eight strong innings for Boston in a 4-1 win over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night. "I've been locating the ball pretty good, but it has happened before, you know."
Not this frequently, and not recently.
Lackey (6-5) won his fourth straight decision and has a winning record for the first time since late in 2011. He missed all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery and after an early scare in April appears to be throwing the way he did a few years ago when he was one of the top pitchers in the American League.
Lackey struck out six and scattered six hits while walking just one. The only run he allowed was a solo homer by Jesus Guzman in the seventh.
"He's been a good pitcher for a long time," Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "It's just a matter of being healthy, having a feel, having the velocity back. And that's what he's doing."
Boston fans, who repeatedly booed Lackey as he struggled through injuries two years ago, cheered him as he left the mound after the top of the eighth.
"I'm just having a good time pitching," Lackey said. "I'm not really worried about what slack I need to pick up or any of that. I missed a full season. I'm enjoying feeling good and enjoying competing."
Koji Uehara replaced Lackey in the ninth and struck out two, earning his fifth save for the Red Sox, who improved to 6-1 during a nine-game homestand.
The Padres have lost four straight and six of seven.
San Diego rookie Robbie Erlin (1-1) threw 93 pitches over 3 2-3 innings before getting pulled after Brandon Snyder's bases-clearing double in the third put Boston up 3-0.
"He had to work for every out he had. It drove his pitch-count up," manager Bud Black said. "The ball off the wall with the bases loaded was the backbreaker. But Robbie competed. For a young pitcher coming in here, he didn't back down, didn't scare off, went at them."
Lackey last had a winning record at 12-11 in late 2011, when he finished the season 12-12 and missed all of last year recovering from surgery. He needed only six pitches to get out of the sixth inning before Guzman spoiled the shutout bid in the seventh with a shot off the top of the Green Monster in left. The umpires held up Guzman at second briefly before conferring and ruling it was a homer without going to video replay. Boston fans booed the call, but replays showed it was correct.
David Ortiz hit his 500th career double in the first and Jose Iglesias added an RBI single in the sixth for Boston.
Erlin was solid through the first three innings, but could not get himself out of trouble in the fourth. Ortiz led off with a single and Mike Napoli followed with a walk. After striking out Jonny Gomes for the first out, Erlin walked Saltalamacchia to load the bases for Snyder.
Snyder forced Erlin to throw nine pitches, fouling off five before hitting a double off the upper right corner of the Green Monster - just a few feet more to the right and it would have been a grand slam. Snyder was thrown out trying to stretch out a triple, which would have left Erlin liable for another possible run.
Erlin was done for the night after Snyder tagged his 93rd pitch. He allowed three runs on five hits and three walks in 3 2-3 innings.
"I felt like I was one pitch away the entire time until that last pitch," said Erlin, who was making his third career start. "I tried to go inside, left it belt-high over the plate, and he hit it off the wall."
Iglesias added an RBI single in the sixth to put Boston up 4-0, then the Padres broke up Lackey's shutout bid on Guzman's homer to left in the seventh.
Boston nearly took the lead in the first when Dustin Pedroia walked and tried to score from first base on Ortiz' double down the right-field line. But Chris Denorfia hit second baseman Logan Forsythe with the relay and Forsythe threw out Pedroia at the plate.
NOTES: The fifth all-time series between the Padres and Red Sox continues Wednesday with RHP Edinson Volquez (6-6) starting for San Diego against Jon Lester (8-4). ... Ortiz became the 58th major leaguer to hit 500 doubles and the fifth active player to do so. ... Snyder was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket the week before and had two RBIs entering the game. ... CF Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 12 games. ... Pedroia has reached base safely in 43 of 45 home games this season. ... San Diego SS Pedro Ciriaco returned to Fenway Park for the first time since being acquired by the Padres on June 14 for cash and got a quiet but warm round of applause in his first at-bat.
Updated July 2, 2013
Dr. Tony Schena joined the show to give insight into what lies ahead for Rob Gronkowski. He said a tough road is in front of the Patriots tight end.
We discuss the improbable win over the Browns and the loss of Rob Gronkowski with Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick on Patriots Monday.
Ninkovich sits in with Mut and Merloni to look back at yesterday’s comeback win against the Browns. Rob also explains the range of emotions the team experienced after Rob Gronkowski suffered a potentially season ending injury.
Eagle checks in to give Grande and Max a perspective on the Brooklyn Nets after they acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett via trade earlier this summer. He breaks down what he thinks the future holds for the Nets after completing this blockbuster deal.
Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell take some time and look back at the history between the Celtics and the Lakers, specifically the legendary rivalry between Magic and Bird. Legendary broadcaster, Ian Eagle, checks in to give the Brooklyn perspective as KG and Paul Pierce settle into their new home. Sean and Max also reveal the behind the scenes details surrounding Max’s famous “I got the ball” moment.
In the first hour of this edition of the Celtics Summer Cooler, Grande and Max analyze the trade that sent Fab Melo out of Boston. Also in this hour, Max sets the story straight about his history with Larry Bird.
It's a baseball round table from the winter meetings in Orlando, Rob Bradford talks with Ian Browne, Scott Lauber, Tim Britton, and Jason Mastrodonato.
Buster joins Mut and Merloni live at the Winter Meetings in Orlando. Buster explains that the market for Stephen Drew has cooled off considerably and executives around the league believe he will return to Boston.
Hazen talks with Mut and Merloni about the on-going offseason process. Mike explains how the Red Sox dove in to free agency immediately after the team’s World Series win. He also explains how the team creates opportunities for young players that are ready to make the jump to the Major League level.
Shawn Thornton joined the show and discussed the teams long layoff leading into their game tomorrow night in Montreal. He told the guys that he anticipates fighting being a part of hockey for years to come.
Lucic joins Danny Picard to talk some hockey after the team’s overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Danny asks Lucic about David Krejci’s game winner yesterday and hockey outsiders that are trying to change the game.
Shawn Thornton joined the show fresh off his big night at MSG and talked about his recent goal scoring prowess. Shawn said that no matter who his line mates are he is always going to be a fourth liner.
Our favorite segment of the week, Answer the question Kirk. Today he answered how many sexual partners he has had.
Our departing producer Thom and our new producer Craig took to the scale to see who was bigger.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. Today the guys discussed the execution of Kim Jong Un's uncle in North Korea.
Jackie MacMullan joins the show to discuss the return of Doc Rivers to Boston and what really happened during the offseason that led to Doc's departure.
Brick joins Mut and Merloni to discuss Shawn Thornton's on ice actions last week against the Penguins and what type of suspension he may be facing.
Mut and Merloni react to Doc Rivers' emotional return to Boston and they discuss the way he left the Celtics.
We debate the hit, and what Shawn Thornton deserves to get and will get for a suspension from the NHL when he faces his discipline hearing on Friday for his K/O hit of the Penguins Brooks Orpik.
We check in with Jack Edwards of NESN and focus on the Bruins, and more specifically Sean Thornton's upcoming discipline hearing for his cheap-shot hit on Brooks Orpik of the Penguins.
We focus on multi-sport athletes in today's four topics at 4PM.
Ryder talks with WEEI.com's Chris Price about the Patriots upcoming game with the Cleveland Browns, and Stevan Ridley's status on the team.
Alex joins the show and gives his thoughts on the Jacoby Ellsbury deal, and what prospects the Red Sox have to fill the hole left in the lineup, or trade pieces to get a player who can fill the void.
John talks to Rob and gets his thoughts on the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox signing AJ Pierzynski, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia signing with Miami.
No Jenny Dell today, but Mikey's back and we're answering questions bitches!
We answer what you ask... and by we mean Salk, Holley and special guest Jenny Dell of NESN!
Answering questions, its what we do.
Buster joins Mut and Merloni live at the Winter Meetings in Orlando. Buster explains that the market for Stephen Drew has cooled off considerably and executives around the league believe he will return to Boston.More from this show
We discuss the comers and goers for the Red Sox and the rest of MLB with former GM Steve Phillips, now of MLB Radio on Sirius XM.More from this show
Hazen talks with Mut and Merloni about the on-going offseason process. Mike explains how the Red Sox dove in to free agency immediately after the team’s World Series win. He also explains how the team creates opportunities for young players that are ready to make the jump to the Major League level.More from this show
Ho, hum. We're live at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, and it seems like everything of merit was done last week. We still discuss the Sox roster moves and potential for 2014.More from this show