John Lackey had won his last four consecutive starts against his former team, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but Thursday afternoon the Halos exacted their revenge on their former righthander by pounding out 18 hits in an 11-0 shutout of the Red Sox before a Fenway Park crowd of 37,013.
This time, it didn’t require a marathon 13-inning effort as Wednesday night’s/Thursday morning’s 5-3 victory required of the Angels in a game that took five hours to play but last eight hours because of a rain delay of 2 hours 35 minutes. The game, which started at 7:10 Wednesday night, didn’t end, mercifully, until 2:45 a.m. Thursday morning.
“Last night was rough on our guys,” said Lackey. “I definitely think there was a sense of me needing to pitch well to get some momentum going, for sure. If I had pitched better early on, I think the guys might’ve found a little more energy early on for sure today.
”My lack of execution and my lack of pitching well definitely hurt that morale or whatever you want to call it,” he said.
Lackey went four innings, his second shortest stint of the year, after allowing eight runs on a season-tying 10 hits, 3 walks and 1 strikeout. He dropped to 2-3 (7.16 ERA) after losing his second straight start. In all three of his losses thus far this season, the Red Sox have failed to produce a run, getting outscored by a combined margin of 14-0.
But Lackey was not about to point any fingers at his offense, which got outhit, 18-7, and was held hitless through the first three scoreless innings by LA’s Joel Pineiro, a former Sox reliever who made 31 relief appearances for Boston in 2007 and picked up his first win of the season.
“This one was a lot different,” Lackey said. “Yeah, I could’ve won those other two, but this one I didn’t pitch well. I [didn’t] deserve to win this one.”
Asked about the disappointing nature of Lackey’s performance, Sox manager Terry Francona said, “You’re never disappointed in Lack. I’d never say that. I don’t think the game didn’t go the way we wanted to, and that’s an understatement, but I’d never be disappointed in his effort. He’d stand out there all day and pitch. That’s not an issue.”
Lackey took issue in his inability to spark his bleary-eyed teammates after the Red Sox lost in 13 innings in the wee hours Thursday morning only to have to return to Fenway Park some 10 hours to get shutout by the Halos.
“I didn’t locate as well,” Lackey said. “I probably fell into a few patterns and they might’ve been sitting on a few things. If I pitch the way I can pitch, it doesn’t matter how they approach me. I just didn’t pitch very well.”
A few post-game tidbits:
• The Red Sox called up LHP Rich Hill, of Milton, and RHP Scott Atchison and placed relievers Bobby Jenks (right biceps tendinitis) and Dan Wheeler (left calf) on the 15-day disabled list.
Both Hill and Atchison were summoned from Boston’s exhausted bullpen to relieve Lackey; Atchison allowing three runs on seven hits in 3-2/3 innings, while the sidearming Hill threw 1-1/3 scoreless innings, allowing 1 walk and 1 hit while recording a pair of strikeouts.
“I felt like I threw all right,” Atchison said. “I left a couple of pitches up, but there wasn’t a bad pitch I made so I was able to eating up some innings.”
Afterward, Atchison, with equipment bag slung over his shoulder, was spotted heading out of the clubhouse to rejoin the PawSox in Scranton, Pa. A Major League source indicated Alfredo Aceves, who was scratched from Thursday night’s start vs. the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, was expected to be called up to Boston Friday.
• Francona tabbed Tim Wakefield to start Friday night’s opener vs. the Minnesota Twins. Wakefield made a spot start last Sunday for the ailing Clay Buchholz (flu-like symptoms) and submitted a yeoman’s effort in a 3-2 win over the Mariners allowing just one run over 5-2/3 innings.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was pressed into making his first career relief appearance in the 13-inning marathon, was scheduled to start Friday, but has been pushed back to Sunday afternoon.
• While Adrian Gonzalez saw his season-high 11-game hitting streak come to an end after going 0-for-4, Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to a season-high 14 consecutive games, ranking as the longest active hitting streak in the American League.
Ellsbury, who reached on a walk in the sixth Thursday afternoon, singled to right in the eighth. He is now batting .350 (21 for 60) over the streak.