A few impressions from today’s game:
• John Lackey was pretty solid in his first start after a 23-day stay in the disabled list. The line — 5 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, and 3 HBP — isn’t spectacular by any means but it’s miles better than what he was before.
The biggest part was that his elbow felt good. Like him or not, and many fans do not, the Sox need him every five days.
“He’s a piece of the puzzle in what we need to do to be in the playoffs,” Adrian Gonzalez said. “It was good to see him back out there.”
• David Ortiz is hitting a stunning .355 against lefthanders with four home runs and only seven strikeouts in 62 at-bats after going 3 for 3 against Brett Anderson. He hit .222 against lefthanders last season with two home runs.
“I’m trying to go to the plate with an idea. It’s making sense right now,” said Ortiz, who explained that he is trying to go the other away against lefthanders rather than try to pull every ball to right field.
“Just stay through the ball. Lefties, you have to wait for the ball to get to you with pretty much all of them,” he said. “I’m a pull hitter and pulling everything against lefties wasn’t working for me. We’ll see. Got a long way to go still.”
With Gonzalez around and Carl Crawford now getting some good swings against lefties, the idea that the Sox are vulnerable against southpaws does not hold water. They’re now 12-7 against lefty starters.
• SaltyTek is plugging right along. Terry Francona said he saw no reason to change the rotation of having Jarrod Saltalamacchia catch roughly three out of five days with Jason Varitek getting the other two.
• Scott Atchison will head to Pawtucket, not New York. He’s the odd man out when Marco Scutaro comes back Tuesday. Scutaro was 1 for 3 for Pawtucket Sunday. He has one more rehab game Monday.
• Rookie lefthander Tommy Hottovy pitched in all three games in the series and faced David DeJesus three times. He got a grounder to second on Friday, a double-play grounder to shortstop on Saturday and a grounder to second yesterday.
• The Red Sox are 4-1 against Oakland this season. The teams meet again at Fenway Aug. 26-28.
• The Sox are 14-6 in day game, the third-best record in the majors.
• Dan Wheeler has not allowed a run in 5 2/3 innings since coming off the disabled list. He threw a scoreless eighth inning.
That’s it for now. We’ll have a draft preview tomorrow and some other stuff. Thanks to everybody for reading today.