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An encouraging outing for Lackey

03.11.10 at 3:49 pm ET

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — John Lackey couldn’t have asked for much better in the Red Sox‘ 8-2 win over the Mets Thursday afternoon.

First, the weather held off long enough at Tradition Field so that the Sox’ starter could get in his three innings of work — allowing three hits, but more importantly inducing eight groundouts compared to just one flyout.

‘€œI’€™m on time, yeah. I’€™m not getting too far ahead of myself or anything,” Lackey said. “My two-seamer was pretty good today. I was happy with that. I got a lot of ground balls. Some of the other pitches aren’€™t quite there yet. We’€™ve still got some work to do, for sure. … I don’€™t think I threw a changeup in the game. I need to incorporate that a little bit more the next couple of starts. Slider and cutter thing wasn’€™t that great today. Still got some work done.’€

Another positive Lackey took away was the opportunity to work with catcher Victor Martinez.

“He was great. It was a lot of fun,” Martinez said. “I was talking to him, he really looked effortless. He wasn’€™t trying to overthrow or push his pitches. And he really has that two-seamer working pretty good today. And the ball was kind of heavy. He mixed his pitches, he worked on what he needed to work on, and I think it went great for him. … It’€™s always good when you feel that good this early in spring training. It’€™s a good sign. It’€™s got to be a good feeling.

“I think we did OK. There were a couple of checks, and it was the first time for me catching him, but it’€™ll get better.”

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