John Lackey allows three runs in first Grapefruit League start; Mike Carp goes deep again

Rob Bradford
March 11, 2014 - 9:54 am

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- John Lackey took another step toward his April 2 start in Baltimore, finally appearing in a Grapefruit League game. The Red Sox starter finished his outing against the Marlins Tuesday at JetBlue Park pitching 2 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits. He struck out two, while throwing 47 pitches (30 strikes). The final run came after Lackey was lifted, with reliever Andrew Miller allowing an inherited runner to score on a first-pitch single off the bat of Derek Dietrich. All three of the runs charged to Lackey came in the third inning. Lackey's only other outing prior to Tuesday was a 38-pitch simulated game against minor-leaguers. The end result was a 5-4 Red Sox loss to the Marlins. '€œI thought he was good," said acting manager Torey Lovullo. "He ended up making some pitches in his final inning that ran his pitch count up but overall for the first he stepped on the mound his fastball was downhill, he located it and I think the idea for him was to get his legs under him and make those types of pitches, I thought he was good." "I felt alright," Lackey said. "I mean it was a good place to start. Threw pretty much all fastballs the first few innings, tried to work on a few other things that third inning. I got a little tired. I'€™ll probably be a little sore tomorrow. It'€™s just a step up in intensity. But a good place to start." Offensively, Mike Carp highlighted the Red Sox' afternoon with his third home run of the spring. "The best thing about Carpy is that he can sit on a pitch and hit it, he can look for a pitch and address it and drive it," Lovullo said. "He was sitting all over the first pitch he saw from a left-handed hitter who made a quality pitch, he just put a better swing on it. Doesn'€™t surprise us. Anything Mike Carp does out there can be exceptional.'€ Drake Britton, who had been exceptional throughout camp, ran into some trouble in the ninth when Kyle Jensen took him deep for a game-winning two run homer. '€œWhat'€™s funny about this game, you'€™ve got a guy sitting on the bench for 2 1/2 hours, he swings at one pitch and wins the ballgame," Lovullo said. "Baseball'€™s a great game, that'€™s why. Drake was great, he makes a good quality pitch on a fastball on the inner half of the plate, a guy bloops it into right center field for a base hit, makes a mistake out over the plate and it got driven over the wall. All in all I fell like Drake should feel good about his outing, we liked what we saw."