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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.

“I’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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