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Lackey, Drew feeling much better

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  May 27, 2011 05:12 PM

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DETROIT John Lackey threw two simulated innings in the bullpen at Comerica Park this afternoon, throwing 20 pitches in each inning with Drew Sutton standing in as a hitter.

The righthander used all his pitches and said his strained elbow felt fine. He will start for Class AAA Pawtucket on Tuesday.

"I was trying to tweak a few things. But I felt pretty good," said Lackey, who will throw approximately 70 pitches for the PawSox. "I felt like I was locating my fastball pretty good today. I was working on tightening up my cutter a little bit. It had gotten a little bit loose on me sometimes. Those were the main things I was working on."

The plan would be then to start for the Sox on June 5 against Oakland at Fenway.

"That's what we're think right now, for sure," he said. "Definitely have to see how I feel after a real game. It's a little different. I don't see why I shouldn't be ready."

Lackey said it would be more dependent on how he feels more than the results.

Lackey said he was throwing "pretty close" to full speed and that his elbow was allowing him to finish pitches.

"It definitely feels a whole lot better than it did," he said.

As for J.D. Drew, he has been out of the lineup since straining his right hamstring making a running catch in Cleveland on Tuesday. But he hit yesterday and will shag balls today. He said he is available to pinch hit tonight and hopes to play tomorrow.

"I'm right on schedule," he said. "I think I'll be available [tomorrow]. Everything should be good to roll for the weekend. ... I ran a little bit yesterday and it felt pretty good. Today is even that much better."

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