Final, Red Sox 8-1: That’s how you rebound from a blowout loss.
One night after the Red Sox got smoked 12-3 by Terry Francona’s Indians, Boston bounced back to secure an 8-1 victory.
John Lackey was fantastic in his seven innings of work on Friday. Cleveland’s only run was unearned, and Lackey allowed just two hits and three walks while striking out eight.
Lackey has quickly become a very important pitcher on the Red Sox’ staff. He’s throwing the ball well, and it’s clear his arm strength is continuing to build. His season ERA now sits at 2.72.
The Red Sox’ offense had two big innings on Friday. The Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a three-run homer from Mike Carp in the second inning. Then, they built an 8-1 lead with a four-run seventh that included two-run singles from Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia.
The start of Friday’s game was delayed 44 minutes because of rain, but once things got going, it was all Boston. The Red Sox will hope for the same result on Saturday when Jon Lester takes the hill. Saturday’s game is scheduled to start up at 1:35 p.m.
Good night, everyone.
End 8th, Red Sox 8-1: Vinnie Pestano kept the Red Sox’ offense at bay in the eighth, but the Indians have their work cut out for them.
Alfredo Aceves, who was recalled on Friday, will pitch the ninth inning for Boston. Considering his struggles earlier this season, it’s probably a good thing the lead is seven runs at this point.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 8-1: Michael Brantley doubled over Daniel Nava’s head in right field to lead off the eighth inning, but Koji Uehara cruised from there.
Drew Stubbs popped out to Dustin Pedroia at second base for the first out, and Michael Bourn flied out to right field, during which Brantley tagged up and went to third.
The inning ended with Jason Kipnis hitting a sinking line drive into center field. Jacoby Ellsbury charged in and made the running catch down around his legs.
Oh yeah, it’s still raining at Fenway.
End 7th, Red Sox 8-1: It took three Cleveland pitchers and an entire trip through the Boston order, but the seventh inning is finally over. The Red Sox scored four runs total in the frame.
Matt Albers took over with two outs in a 6-1 game, and Jacoby Ellsbury stole second base to put two runners into scoring position for Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia responded by going the other way with a pitch for two-run single to pad the Red Sox’ lead even more.
David Ortiz walked to extend the inning again, but Mike Napoli grounded to Mark Reynolds, who stepped on the third base bag to end the inning.
Koji Uehara will now enter the game for Boston after seven great innings from John Lackey.
The only run Lackey allowed in the game was unearned. He gave up two hits and walked three while striking out eight. Lackey threw 109 pitches (71 strikes), and he lowered his season ERA to 2.72.
10:10 p.m., Red Sox 6-1: Rich Hill entered the game and immediately ran into trouble.
Hill hit Jonny Gomes — who pinch-hit for Mike Carp — in the leg with a pitch. Then, after Stephen Drew struck out swinging, Jose Iglesias singled through the left side to load the bases.
Jacoby Ellsbury made Hill pay by yanking a two-run single through the right side. The hit sent Iglesias from first to third.
Daniel Nava popped out to Mark Reynolds in foul territory along the third-base line, but Terry Francona will make his second pitching change of the inning. Yet another former Red Sox pitcher, Matt Albers, is entering the game.
9:56 p.m., Red Sox 4-1: The Fenway lovefest for Terry Francona continues.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled over Michael Bourn’s head in center field, which prompted Francona to take out Justin Masterson in favor of another former Red Sox hurler, Rich Hill. As Francona walked back to the dugout, the fans along the third-base line gave the Indians skipper a standing ovation.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 4-1: It sounds crazy, but I think I heard a few “Lackey” chants start up at Fenway after the right-hander’s seventh inning.
Lackey retired the side in order again, and he picked up two more strikeouts.
Jason Giambi put up an eight-pitch battle, but he eventually went down swinging on a cut-fastball from Lackey. Mark Reynolds had a similar fate.
Lackey has been very sharp throughout this game. His arm strength has been terrific, and he’s getting hitters to swing and miss, which is very encouraging after Thursday’s offensive clinic by the Indians.
End 6th, Red Sox 4-1: The Red Sox, who had been held down by Justin Masterson for three straight innings, pushed across another run in the sixth inning.
Jacoby Ellsbury struck out to lead off the inning. Masterson got him with a pitch down and in, and Ellsbury wasn’t happy with the call at all. Replays show that the outfielder might have a point, too, as the pitch looked to be a little low.
Daniel Nava, who keeps getting on base in any way possible, was then plunked in the leg, which knocked Masterson off his game a bit.
Dustin Pedroia ripped a line-drive single into left field, and David Ortiz followed up with a bloop single down the left-field line. Third baseman Mark Reynolds and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera raced out while left fielder Michael Brantley charged in, but Ortiz’s blooper fell in the middle of the human circle.
Ortiz’s single loaded the bases. The run eventually came across in strange fashion.
Mike Napoli hit a ground ball to short, and Cabrera tried to start a double play, but Jason Kipnis’ throw to first was off the mark. Nick Swisher made the grab and tried to swipe down a tag, but Napoli tip-toed around the attempt before safely diving into first.
Nava scored on Napoli’s ground ball. Pedroia attempted to come around as well, but the Indians were able to cut him down at the plate.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 3-1: John Lackey has given up just two hits, and they both came in a two-batter span back in the third inning. Otherwise, he’s been terrific.
Michael Bourn started the sixth inning with a little grounder to the right side. Lackey charged off the mound and slid to make a play before firing to first for the out. Lackey’s effort on Bourn’s grounder drew a big ovation from the Fenway crowd.
Lackey yielded a one-out walk to Jason Kipnis, which marked the righty’s third free pass of the game, but he bounced back to retire the the next two hitters.
Lackey struck out Nick Swisher on a high fastball to end the inning.
End 5th, Red Sox 3-1: Justin Masterson is starting to look more like the pitcher who entered the game with seven wins.
Masterson has kept the Red Sox’ offense in check since the three-run second inning. In the fifth inning, he enjoyed his second straight 1-2-3 frame.
Masterson got both Mike Carp and Stephen Drew to pound offspeed offerings into the ground. The right-hander then struck out Jose Iglesias with a sinker down and in.
Masterson’s sinker has had good downward movement, and Iglesias likely would have pounded the pitch into the ground as well, but the infielder was unable to make contact.
Iglesias is 0-for-2 with two strikeouts in his first game back with the big league club.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 3-1: John Lackey has a very nice rhythm going.
Lackey enjoyed his second straight 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, striking out two hitters in the process.
Lackey started the fifth against Mark Reynolds, who singled in his previous at-bat, and he fanned the slugger with a fastball.
Michael Brantley then grounded out to short before Lackey picked up another strikeout against Drew Stubbs. Lackey got Stubbs with a good-looking changeup low and out of the zone.
Lackey, who has thrown 78 pitches (51 strikes), has five strikeouts thus far. Indians hitters have stepped out of the box a few times in an effort to throw Lackey off his game, but the tactic has yielded minimal results.
End 4th, Red Sox 3-1: Justin Masterson settled in nicely in the fourth inning as well.
Masterson sandwiched a strikeout of Mike Napoli between ground-ball outs from David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Masterson threw just 10 pitches in the inning — six of which came on his strikeout of Napoli. Napoli went down looking on a slider.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-1: John Lackey settled back down in the fourth inning.
Lackey retired Nick Swisher, Carlos Santana and Jason Giambi in order. All three outs were hit on the ground, which is always a good sign when trying to keep the ball down.
The grounds crew is doing a heck of a job out there, by the way. It shouldn’t go unnoticed on this sloppy night.
End 3rd, Red Sox 3-1: Daniel Nava simply gets on base.
Nava, who entered the game with a .400 on-base percentage, smacked a one-out single into right-center field. Nava reached in all four of his plate appearances despite Boston’s lopsided loss on Thursday, and he entered the contest with a .385 average (10-for-26) over his last seven games.
Justin Masterson made sure Nava’s base knock didn’t lead to any damage, though. He induced a ground-ball double play with Dustin Pedroia at the plate.
The Indians nearly blew the double play, as Asdrubal Cabrera’s flip to second was in the dirt, but Jason Kipnis did a nice job of turning the subpar toss.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 3-1: Jarrod Saltalamacchia has shown improvement behind the plate recently, but an errant throw from the catcher in the third inning helped the Indians get on the scoreboard.
Mark Reynolds and Michael Brantley led off the inning with back-to-back singles. The two hits made life difficult for Lackey, who had faced the minimum six batters before the inning, but the right-hander nearly escaped the inning unscathed.
Drew Stubbs hit a looping line drive that Jacoby Ellsbury hauled-in in center field for the first out, and Lackey then struck out Michael Bourn. Lackey got Bourn looking with a fastball back in the first inning. This time around, he got Bourn to wave at a nasty curveball a few inches above the plate.
The Indians pushed across a run when Reynolds and Brantley took off as part of an aggressive double-steal. Saltalamacchia’s throw was way, way, way wide of Jose Iglesias down at third base, and Reynolds got up and motored home.
Lackey walked Jason Kipnis to put runners at the corners with two outs, but he escaped with a two-run lead intact by getting Asdrubal Cabrera to roll one over to Mike Napoli at first base.
End 2nd, Red Sox 3-0: Mike Carp could see some extra playing time in Shane Victorino’s absence, especially if he swings the bat like this.
Carp jumped all over a hanging slider on the inner half of the plate and drilled it for a three-run homer to give Boston a 3-0 advantage. The home run is Carp’s third of the season.
The table was set by David Ortiz, who walked to lead off the inning, and Mike Napoli, who singled into center field. Ortiz even had a chance to show off his wheels in the second inning when he pushed the envelope and tagged up from second base on Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s fly ball to right field.
Stephen Drew grounded out and Jose Iglesias struck out (cue the groans…kidding, kidding) to end the inning, but the damage was done.
Rain update: It’s still coming down.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Dustin Pedroia was robbed of a base hit in the first inning. He returned the favor in the second inning.
After Nick Swisher grounded out, Carlos Santana walked. Santana actually walked four times and reached base five times in Thursday’s 12-3 blowout.
Jason Giambi threatened to extend the rally by hitting a ground ball up the middle. Even with the shift on, Pedroia ranged to his right to make a great diving play. He flipped to Stephen Drew, who fired to first to complete the double play.
The Red Sox had the added benefit of 76-year-old (or somewhere around there) Giambi running down the line on the double-play ball, but it was a good enough turn that most major leaguers would have been thrown out on the back end.
End 1st, 0-0: Nick Swisher didn’t play in the first game of the series (paternity leave), but he flashed some leather down at first base in the first inning of this one.
Swisher dove to his left to knock down Dustin Pedroia’s two-out ground ball. The ball nearly sneaked through for a hit, but it was a nice play by Swisher to cover some ground near the first-base line. Swish flipped to Justin Masterson, who was covering the bag, for the out.
Masterson actually had to battle a bit to retire Pedroia. The big righty fell behind 3-0 and nearly plunked Pedroia on the wrist, but he showed some fight and eventually recorded the out to cap off a perfect inning.
Prior to Pedroia’s ground out, Jacoby Ellsbury struck out swinging and Daniel Nava grounded out. One thing that’s worth noting with Ellsbury is that he has been squaring around to bunt a lot recently. (Just tossing it out there.)
Mid 1st, 0-0: John Lackey didn’t seem to be impacted by the rain delay. He enjoyed a 1-2-3 first inning to kick off the action at a soggy Fenway Park.
Lackey struck out Indians leadoff hitter Michael Bourn to start the inning. He went with a heavy dose of fastballs, and eventually froze the speedy outfielder with a pitch down in the zone.
Lackey also struck out Asdrubal Cabrera to end the inning. He went upstairs to get Cabrera swinging, and the fastball registered at 94 mph. That’s some good velocity for Lackey early on.
Jose Iglesias, making his first career start at third base, was tested in the inning. Jason Kipnis hit a ball in his direction with one out, and Iglesias ranged to his left — even cutting in front of Stephen Drew a bit — to make the play.
7:54 p.m.: John Lackey’s first pitch following a 44-minute rain delay is in there for a strike. The game time temperature is 55 degrees.
7:53 p.m.: The rain has picked up a little bit over the last few minutes, but it looks like they’re going to start things up anyway. The Red Sox have taken the field.
7:25 p.m.: Great news. The tarp has been taken off the field, and we’ll have some baseball.
The game is expected to start up at 7:50 p.m. Grab your food and beverage now. I’ll meet you back here.
7:13 p.m.: We’re officially in a rain delay at Fenway Park. Has anyone seen any good movies lately?
7:05 p.m.: The tarp is still on the field as the rain continues to fall. It looks like we should have a window at some point, but then again, I’m no meteorologist.
6:42 p.m.: It’s become quite obvious that the start of this game will be delayed. The rain is letting up a bit, though, so that’s an encouraging sign.
5:53 p.m.: The tarp is on the field, and the rain is coming down hard at Fenway Park. Hopefully, they’ll get this game in, but the forecast doesn’t look too great.
In fact, the forecast for the whole weekend doesn’t look good, which is a rather depressing thought for anyone with Memorial Day plans.
Think if I complain enough Mother Nature will do something about this? Yeah, me neither.
5:30 p.m.: Jose Iglesias just got recalled, and he’ll immediately jump into the action.
Not only will Iglesias be in the Red Sox’ starting lineup on Friday, but he’ll get the start at third base. Iglesias, whose natural position is shortstop, has never played third base in his big league career, but he’s been working down at the hot corner in Pawtucket recently.
Iglesias has also been working out at second base down at the Triple-A level, with the idea being that he could become a utility player at the major league level. Iglesias’ call-up, obviously, came a lot sooner than expected, though, and he’ll likely be Boston’s starting third baseman for as long as Will Middlebrooks is sidelined.
Iglesias will bat ninth on Friday. The knock on the 23-year-old has always been his offense, even though he hit .450 (9-for-20) in six games with the Red Sox earlier this season before shortstop Stephen Drew’s return. Iglesias has been hitting .202 in 33 games at the Triple-A level.
David Ross is active, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia will start behind the plate once again.
Friday’s lineups are below.
Red Sox (28-20)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Mike Carp, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Jose Iglesias, 3B
John Lackey, RHP (2-4, 3.31 ERA)
Michael Bourn, CF
Jason Kipnis, 2B
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Nick Swisher, 1B
Carlos Santana, C
Jason Giambi, DH
Mark Reynolds, 3B
Michael Brantley, LF
Drew Stubbs, RF
Justin Masterson, RHP (7-2, 2.83 ERA)
5:12 p.m.: Tonight’s Red Sox broadcast is presented in part by Carbonite, protect your files with automatic and secure cloud backup. Try it free at Carbonite.com. Use offer code “NESN” and get two bonus months with purchase.
5:08 p.m.: The talk around Boston earlier in the day was about the weather. That has changed in a hurry, as the Red Sox have announced some roster moves.
Shane Victorino and Will Middlebrooks have both been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Victorino, whose DL stint is retroactive to May 21, was placed on the shelf because of a left hamstring strain.
Middlebrooks, meanwhile, is dealing with a lower back strain. He was taken out of Thursday’s game following his second at-bat when his back started to tighten up.
In two corresponding roster moves, the Red Sox have recalled pitcher Alfredo Aceves and infielder Jose Iglesias.
The Red Sox also announced that catcher David Ross has been activated from the seven-day concussion list. Ryan Lavarnway was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Ross.
8 a.m. ET: Terry Francona’s return to Fenway Park on Thursday was special, but the end result was a far cry from what the Red Sox anticipated.
The Indians jumped all over Ryan Dempster and pounded out 16 hits en route to a 12-3 victory. It was the third straight shaky outing for Dempster, who has failed four times to record his third win of the year. Now, John Lackey will be asked to put the Red Sox back on the right track on Friday.
Lackey was fantastic in his last start on Sunday. He allowed just two baserunners and an unearned run in six innings before a lengthy rain delay in Minnesota ended his outing. He picked up the win in that contest, and he’ll now look to carry the momentum back home to Fenway.
Friday’s action is scheduled to kick off at 7:10 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com’s live blog for additional commentary, analysis and random spurts of ruggedness.