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Lackey Doesn't Get the Win, But Twirls Another Gem

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Jim Rogash / Getty Images


John Lackey’s gem Wednesday afternoon nearly went for naught. But, the Red Sox pulled off a dramatic, 10th-inning, 2-1 walk-off win, thanks to back-to-back home runs from David Ortiz and Mike Napoli off Twins reliever Casey Fien.

Lackey, though, after giving the Sox nine stellar innings, was not the beneficiary of the late-game offensive outburst.

“It worked out great. It really did,” said Lackey, who lowered his ERA from 3.24 to 2.96. “I did my job, and you got to give their kid [Twins starter Kyle Gibson] a lot of credit. He’s a talent. He threw the ball tremendous. For our two big guys to hit a couple of dingers late like that, hope it can give us some momentum to take into the road trip.”

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Lackey allowed just three hits and a walk with nine strikeouts in his outing. He is the first Sox pitcher to go nine scoreless innings without earning a win since Matt Young went nine innings in a 13-ining, 1-0 loss to the Indians on April 15, 1991.

The normally dominant Koji Uehara pitched the 10th, giving up a go-ahead home run to Chris Parmelee. Lackey had thrown 105 pitches, 74 for strikes, a 70 percent strike rate. As well as Lackey pitched, manager John Farrell did not consider bringing him out for the 10th.

“No, he had more than done his job,” Farrell said. “He pitched outstanding today, 105 pitches, nine complete shutout innings. No, no temptation, particularly Koji's rested and ready to go. Unfortunately, one extra split to Parmelee gives them the upper hand. But a dramatic finish on our part.”

It was Lackey’s team-leading 12th quality start in 15 outings this season. He has recorded a quality start in 10 of his last 11 outings since April 23. In that span he has posted an ERA of 2.27, allowing 20 earned runs in 79 1/3 innings.

Over his last six starts he has an ERA of 1.60, allowing eight earned runs in 45 innings. He did not allow a run in three of those six outings.

The Sox are getting used to these kinds of performances from Lackey. He has not allowed more than two walks in a game since May 4, when he issued three against the A’s. In eight starts since then, spanning 58 innings, he has allowed a total of just eight walks.

“I think that’s what we’ve been accustomed to seeing here, and that’s not to take him for granted by any means,” Farrell said. “But he was powerful from the first pitch of the game to the 105th one that he threw.

“He’s been so good with commanding the baseball, a high percentage of strikes. He was able to throw his breaking ball behind in the count to slow some hitters down. But he’s ben outstanding for us all year.”

It was the 10th time in his career – first with the Sox – that he pitched nine scoreless innings. The last time was Sept. 10, 2009, while with the Angels against the Mariners.

The Sox hit the road for a three-city, 10-game, 11-day trip to Oakland, Seattle, and Yankee Stadium beginning Thursday.

“It would have been a crappy one to lose, for sure, on the way out of town,” Lackey said. “But we pulled it out and it ended up being a great one.”

“It worked out great. It really did,” said Lackey, who lowered his ERA from 3.24 to 2.96. “I did my job, and you got to give their kid [Twins starter Kyle Gibson] a lot of credit. He’s a talent. He threw the ball tremendous. For our two big guys to hit a couple of dingers late like that, hope it can give us some momentum to take into the road trip.”

Lackey allowed just three hits and a walk with nine strikeouts in his outing. He is the first Sox pitcher to go nine scoreless innings without earning a win since Matt Young went nine innings in a 13-ining, 1-0 loss to the Indians on April 15, 1991.

The normally dominant Koji Uehara pitched the 10th, giving up a go-ahead home run to Chris Parmelee. Lackey had thrown 105 pitches, 74 for strikes, a 70 percent strike rate. As well as Lackey pitched, manager John Farrell did not consider bringing him out for the 10th.

“No, he had more than done his job,” Farrell said. “He pitched outstanding today, 105 pitches, nine complete shutout innings. No, no temptation, particularly Koji's rested and ready to go. Unfortunately, one extra split to Parmelee gives them the upper hand. But a dramatic finish on our part.”

It was Lackey’s team-leading 12th quality start in 15 outings this season. He has recorded a quality start in 10 of his last 11 outings since April 23. In that span he has posted an ERA of 2.27, allowing 20 earned runs in 79 1/3 innings.

Over his last six starts he has an ERA of 1.60, allowing eight earned runs in 45 innings. He did not allow a run in three of those six outings.

The Sox are getting used to these kinds of performances from Lackey. He has not allowed more than two walks in a game since May 4, when he issued three against the A’s. In eight starts since then, spanning 58 innings, he has allowed a total of just eight walks.

“I think that’s what we’ve been accustomed to seeing here, and that’s not to take him for granted by any means,” Farrell said. “But he was powerful from the first pitch of the game to the 105th one that he threw.

“He’s been so good with commanding the baseball, a high percentage of strikes. He was able to throw his breaking ball behind in the count to slow some hitters down. But he’s ben outstanding for us all year.”

It was the 10th time in his career – first with the Sox – that he pitched nine scoreless innings. The last time was Sept. 10, 2009, while with the Angels against the Mariners.

The Sox hit the road for a three-city, 10-game, 11-day trip to Oakland, Seattle, and Yankee Stadium beginning Thursday.

“It would have been a crappy one to lose, for sure, on the way out of town,” Lackey said. “But we pulled it out and it ended up being a great one.”