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Pitchers go through fielding drills almost every day in spring training; a routine that usually ends once the season starts. But the Red Sox had their pitchers on the field during their last homestand to get a refresher course.
John Lackey, who was pitching that day, was excused.
Still, Lackey knows better than to make the kind of mistake he did on Thursday night. His throwing error on what should have been a double play in the sixth inning led to four unearned runs and a 5-3 victory for the Minnesota Twins before a crowd of 31,571 at Fenway Park.
The Sox have lost three straight and six of their last seven games. Their slide has coincided with sloppy defense. The Sox committed two errors on Thursday and have 11 in their last seven games.
Lackey (1-3) handled the pitching part pretty well, going a season-best seven innings and striking out eight.