John Lackey was activated from the DL and took the mound for the Red Sox. He had a pretty decent outing in Pawtucket under his belt prior to his return to the Sox. Lackey came into the game with a 8.01 ERA. Lackey was going to be limited to about 90 pitches and with a tired and depleted bullpen, we hoped that he could not only pitch well, but deep into the game.
Lackey gave up just what we were looking for. He pitched real well for his first return to the mound for the Sox. He gave up a solo HR to Kevin Kouzmanoff in the 3rd, an RBI hit to Barton in the 4th and Matt Albers gave up a hit to allow Lackey's inherited runners to score in the 6th. In total, Lackey's line was 5.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 Ks. There was a lot of promise in his first start after coming off the DL. Additionally, I didn't see any drop in his velocity of his fastball as he got deeper into the game. Lackey was followed with some stellar relief from Albers, Hottovy, Wheeler and Bard. Other than the one RBI hit Albers gave up, no other runs scored from the relief pitchers.
More importantly, the Sox bats came to play tonight as well. The Sox got onto the board in the 3rd with a 3 run HR from Carl Crawford. Adrian Gonzalez hit a HR in the 4th and gave the Sox a 5-2 lead. Pedey hit an RBI single in the 6th to score Ellsbury to give the Sox a 6-3 lead. The Sox were facing a lefty as a starting pitcher (Anderson) and our lefties hit him very well. Gonzo and Crawford both got HRs. Papi and Salty (switch hitter) both went 3 for 4 and Ellsbury also got a hit. So, the perception that the Sox can't hit lefties might be turning out to be a rumor after all.
It was a great win and a GREAT SWEEP! Now let's go get those Yankees!
Red Sox 6 Athletics 3 BOXSCORE