|John Lackey leaves game with arm injury||04.06.13 at 2:45 pm ET|
TORONTO — Red Sox starter John Lackey left with one out in the fifth inning of the Red Sox’ game with the Blue Jays with what the team classified as a right biceps strain.
The Red Sox’ starter immediately grabbed his right arm after delivering a low and inside pitch to Jose Reyes on the sixth pitch of the at-bat. While the Rogers Centre crowd booed for what it perceived as a pitch thrown intentionally to hit Reyes, Lackey circled the outskirts of the mound while Red Sox manager John Farrell and trainer Rick Jameyson sprinted to the scene.
Farrell immediately replaced Lackey with reliever Alfredo Aceves, with Lackey being escorted off the field by Jameyson.
It appeared as though Lackey was feeling discomfort in the arm two pitches before the final pitch to Reyes, shaking his arm on both the at-bat’s fourth and fifth pitches.
Lackey had turned in a solid outing to the point of his injury, giving up two runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings, striking out eight while walking one. His only miscue came via a two-run, fourth-inning homer to J.P. Arencibia.
Lackey was grabbing at what appeared to be the biceps area, just above the elbow he had surgically repaired in Nov. 1, 2011.
|How Dustin Pedroia helped J.A. Happ get back on the mound||04.06.13 at 2:17 pm ET|
TORONTO — Credit Dustin Pedroia for helping the Blue Jays get their starting pitcher on the mound Saturday afternoon.
J.A. Happ got the start for the hosts at Rogers Centre only after going through a lengthy comeback from surgery on the navicular bone in his right foot. The lefty last pitched Sept. 3, 2012, having to ultimately shut things down in order to under go a procedure to put two screws in his injured foot.
Early on in that recovery process, it was Pedroia who lent a helping hand.
The Red Sox’ second baseman, who underwent the same surgery as Happ, was in communication with the pitcher during Happ’s check-up with Dr. George Theodore in Boston in September.
“It just so happens I was getting a check-up in Boston and I talked to him a little bit then, his experiences through it,” Happ said. “He was great in terms of helping with a timeline. It’s a frustrating thing because there’s so much downtime and being off your feet, so he was a help in that way. Just letting me know it’s going to seem like a long time, but you have to bear through it and it’s going to eventually going to get better.
“He was saying it took him several months to get back up and running. It’s basically longer than you think it’s going to be. He said, ‘You need to give yourself that time in order to let it heal.’ It was nice to know because sometimes you want to rush thing. It’s nice to know if you take your time to do it the right way once, you won’t have to do it again.”
The 30-year-old Happ made the Blue Jays’ rotation after posting a 1.90 ERA in seven spring training appearances.
|Why Koji Uehara has been inspired by Chris Davis’ historic start||04.06.13 at 1:57 pm ET|
TORONTO – Chris Davis’ historic start might not only be helping the Orioles. Evidently, it might be offering some assistance to the Red Sox, as well.
Red Sox reliever Koji Uehara said Saturday morning that Davis has added some motivation for these early-season games. Why? Uehara evidently feels somewhat of a sense of responsibility to live up to the lofty standards set by Davis because the two were traded for one another July 30, 2011.
“The season he’s having so far has been an inspiration for me,” Uehara said through a translator.
Uehara explained that he had never heard of Davis prior to being traded for the first baseman (and Tommy Hunter), but the “new experience” of being dealt for the first time in his professional career led to his attention to Davis’ exploits.
The Red Sox reliever said, however, that his awareness regarding Davis’ start – which includes a record 16 RBI over the first four games – is truly driven by wanting to follow the team he played his first three major league seasons with, the Orioles. Davis is 2-for-4 against Uehara, although the reliever did strike out the slugger in their last meeting, the one-game playoff at the conclusion of last season.
Thus far, Uehara is doing a fairly good job of keeping pace with Davis. The righty has needed just 14 pitches to cruise through the only six batters he has faced.
“The number of pitches he’s thrown has been about as minimal as you can get,” said Farrell of Uehara. “The urge, or the tendency, is going to be to call his name all the time. He loves to compete. You see the energy he comes off the field with after completing an inning. Fortunately we’ve got the depth that we do. And the quality that we do. We’ll have the ability to spread some things out and Koji will be a guy who will factor all those things.”
|Jose Iglesias checks out OK, but still out of Red Sox lineup||04.06.13 at 1:30 pm ET|
TORONTO – The plan was for Jose Iglesias to take Saturday off. That route became a lot easier to execute thanks to one pitch Friday night.
After being hit by a 93 mph Josh Johnson fastball in the series-opener between the Red Sox and Blue Jays, Iglesias was forced to leave the game in the fourth inning. Saturday morning, the shortstop showed up at the park ready to go, but that wasn’t going to alter the Red Sox’ plan.
“Actually, he checked out OK this morning,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Iglesias, who was struck in the right elbow. “He went out and threw well and felt OK. We had today as a scheduled down day for him. He’s available today if the need does arise. It was encouraging that he came back in and pleaded his case to try to get in today’s lineup.”
Iglesias has reached base in each of the Red Sox’ first four games, having become the first Sox rookie to notch multiple-hit performances in his season’s firs three contests.
The shortstop was replaced in the lineup by Pedro Ciriaco, who came on to claim a pair of hits Friday night.
Iglesias stay with the Red Sox also might be extended an extra day with Stephen Drew’s rehab game with Portland being postponed Saturday due to coldness. It was originally believed Drew would be replacing Iglesias as the starting shortstop as early as Monday.
“If the team needs me, I’ll be there,” Iglesias said. “You want to be there, you want to be part of another win. All I can do is get treatment and be ready.”
|Red Sox lineup: Jose Iglesias out, Pedro Ciriaco at short, David Ross catches John Lackey in his return||04.06.13 at 10:45 am ET|
One day after he was forced out of the game after being hit on the right elbow by a pitch, shortstop Jose Iglesias is out of the lineup against the Blue Jays. In his place, the Sox will give Pedro Ciriaco his first start of the season at short.
Right-hander John Lackey makes his first start in a regular season game since undergoing Tommy John surgery following the 2011 season. He will be caught by catcher David Ross.
The Red Sox lineup against the Blue Jays and left-hander J.A. Happ:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Johnny Gomes, DH
David Ross, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., LF
Pedro Ciriaco, SS
John Lackey, SP
|Red Sox minor league roundup: Power arms Brandon Workman, Allen Webster dominate||04.06.13 at 9:51 am ET|
One of the reasons why the Red Sox suggest that right-hander Brandon Workman has made considerable strides towards being a big league starter is his willingness to stick with a gameplan. Even if, for instance, an opponent hits a two-run homer on a fastball away, the right-hander won’t necessarily be dissuaded from going back to that pitch type and location. He has enough confidence in his full arsenal that he doesn’t rush to start removing pitches or creating a new approach to an opposing lineup if he gets touched for a few runs.
Workman’s first start of the 2013 season underscored the point. After a 1-2-3 first inning in which he struck out two, Workman stumbled in the second, yielding a walk, single, two-run triple and two-run homer in the span of five batters, a head-spinning sequence that resulted in Trenton posting four runs. But Workman reined the game back in, striking out the next two hitters to end the second and retiring the final 11 batters he faced, punctuating his outing by striking out the side in the fifth.
The 24-year-old finished the game with nine punchouts (one shy of his career-high, achieved last year in Salem) while walking just one and allowing three hits. The only baserunners he permitted were in that one hiccup inning in the fifth. Otherwise, he was dominant, primarily on the strength of an overpowering fastball — he hit 96 mph, and got 15 swings and misses with the pitch.
Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press Herald reported that Workman navigated in a tidy 3 minutes, 11 seconds. The fact that his nine strikeouts came with just one walk underscored the notion of Workman as a pitcher who is a somewhat relentless strike thrower, continuing a theme from last year, when he had 5.2 strikeouts per walk.
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 9-4 WIN AT SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE (YANKEES)
–Right-hander Allen Webster tossed five shutout innings, allowing two hits (both singles), striking out five and getting five groundball outs. The only fly in the ointment to his evening was control — he walked three batters and threw just 50 of 85 (58.8 percent) of his pitches for strikes. There is no question as to whether Webster’s stuff can be overpowering — with a high-90s sinker that gets groundballs and swings and misses as an accompaniment to both a wipeout changeup and a swing-and-miss slider, his stuff is as good as nearly anyone in the Red Sox organization. How quickly he learns to harness it in the strike zone will determine ultimately what kind of big league impact he will have. Read the rest of this entry »
|Saturday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: John Lackey vs. J.A. Happ||04.06.13 at 8:08 am ET|
Nearly every player who takes the field for the Red Sox in the early weeks of this season will have something to prove after a down 2012. But that burden may be heaviest on John Lackey, who missed the 2012 season after having Tommy John surgery and will make his first start since Sept. 25, 2011, on Saturday afternoon in Toronto.
This will be Lackey’s next chance to begin fulfilling the high expectations the Red Sox had of him when they signed him in the 2009 offseason. A sore elbow plagued him through 2010 and 2011, years in which his ERA was 4.40 and 6.41.
Lackey didn’t see much game action in spring training, throwing 11 2/3 innings. In that minuscule body of work, he posted a 5.40 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. He last saw the Blue Jays on Sept. 14, 2011, when he pitched 5 1/3 innings, gave up two earned runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out four.
The Blue Jays will send J.A. Happ, who’s beginning his first full season in Toronto, to the mound opposing Lackey.
Happ finished last year with a 4.79 ERA. He pitched slightly better after being traded to Toronto from Houston, putting up a 4.69 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP for the Jays after recording a 4.83 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP for the Astros.
Since he’s only spent half a season in the AL East, the Sox don’t have much firsthand experience with Happ. Jonny Gomes, who was in the NL Central with the Reds while Happ was an Astro, has faced him 11 times and never gotten a hit.
Happ’s only outing against the Sox as a Jay was also his first appearance for Toronto, on July 21, 2012, in Boston. He pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief of Carlos Villanueva, throwing just five pitches and getting groundouts from Ryan Sweeney and Pedro Ciriaco.
Several current Jays have hit Lackey well. Melky Cabrera has a .345/.367/.448 line with three doubles, and Adam Lind has six doubles and 6 RBIs in 26 PAs against Lackey.
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