|Boston Red Sox's John Lackey delivers a warm-up pitch before the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the New York Mets, in Fort Myers, Fla., Wednesday, March 17, 2010. Lackey wears a green uniform in honor of St. Patrick's Day. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)|
Lackey lights out before Mets rally past Red Sox
FORT MYERS, Fla.—Boston starter John Lackey gave up two hits in four innings before the New York Mets rallied with four runs in the eighth for a 4-2 win over the Red Sox on Wednesday.
Lackey struck out two and walked none. In nine combined innings this spring, Lackey has not allowed a run -- earned or unearned -- or issued a walk. He has given up just five hits.
"I'm throwing the ball pretty well," said Lackey, who threw 28 of his 39 pitches for strikes. "But honestly I'd probably like to maybe give up a couple runs. Don't want to bring them all north with me."
Red Sox manager Terry Francona is pleased with Lackey's performances this spring.
"First-pitch strikes; that was fun to watch," Francona said. "Let them put it in play. Threw his breaking ball for strikes. He threw everything for strikes, down in the zone. Runner defense worked. It was fun to watch.
Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey nearly matched Lackey's outing, going four innings, giving up one run on four hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
"I thought it was a real positive outing," Pelfrey said. "I located the fastball. I didn't get a lot of ground balls, but the sinker started sinking again. That's a good sign."
Pelfrey, who threw 66 pitches, 44 for strikes, is developing confidence in his secondary pitches.
"I feel good," he said. "I think the thing about it is I'm able to throw (the splitter) for a strike. I feel like I can throw it at any time, which is good."
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead into the eighth, but New York's Fernando Martinez hit his third home run of the season, a three-run shot off Ramon S. Ramirez. Ramirez gave up four runs on two hits and three walks without recording an out.
Elmer Dessens pitched a scoreless ninth for the Mets.
NOTES: Red Sox RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka threw batting practice Wednesday for the first time this spring after being slowed by back and neck ailments. Matsuzaka spent a total of 107 games on the disabled list last season with a mild right shoulder strain. ... The Red Sox announced Wednesday that infielder Jed Lowrie, who had not played since March 11 as he battled fatigue symptoms, has been diagnosed with mononucleosis. Lowrie was Boston's Opening Day shortstop last season but was limited to 32 games, battling the lingering effects of a wrist injury.