Red Sox-Rockies Live: John Lackey Piles Up Season-High 12 Strikeouts As Sox Win 5-3

Jacoby EllsburyFinal, Red Sox 5-3: Koji Uehara has recorded his first save since being named the Red Sox’ new closer.

Uehara cruised through a 1-2-3 ninth inning to nail down a victory for John Lackey, who struck out a season-high 12 hitters. Lackey’s record improved to 5-5 with the win.

The Red Sox’ offense, which banged out 20 hits Tuesday, carried some momentum into this one. Boston scored three times in the first inning, tacked on two more in the third inning and then rode a solid effort from Lackey to secure a two-game sweep of the Rockies.

Shane Victorino went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored out of the two-hole, while Dustin Pedroia had two hits and Daniel Nava drove in two runs.

Lackey went seven innings before departing. He allowed two runs on eight hits. In addition to his 12 strikeouts, he didn’t walk a batter.

The Red Sox will welcome the red-hot Blue Jays to town Thursday. Jon Lester will be matched up against Chien-Ming Wang in the series opener, which is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

End 8th, Red Sox 5-3: Koji Uehara will enter the game with a two-run lead.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who has struck out three times in this contest, walked to lead off the eighth inning. Jose Iglesias’ inning-ending double play ended any potential threat, though.

Iglesias fouled a ball off his knee during his eighth-inning at-bat. He stuck it out after hobbling around for a few seconds, but he might need some ice after this one.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 5-3: Michael Cuddyer is just peppering the signs above the Green Monster seats.

Cuddyer, who smacked a home run off the Advil sign in his last at-bat, drilled a ball off the Sports Authority sign in the eighth inning. (You’re next, AAA sign?)

Cuddyer’s second home run, which was his 13th of the season, was the only offense tossed up against Junichi Tazawa in the eighth inning.

Tazawa retired Wilin Rosario, Todd Helton and Nolan Arenado after Cuddyer’s blast. Helton went down swinging on a nasty pitch in the dirt.

Lackey’s outing ended after seven strong innings. He gave up two runs on eight hits while striking out a season-high 12 and not walking anyone.

6:22 p.m., Red Sox 5-2: The rain started coming down during the bottom of the seventh, which sent some fans running for cover. It has since let up somewhat, though.

End 7th, Red Sox 5-2: The Red Sox put another runner into scoring position in the seventh inning. They came up empty-handed.

Shane Victorino led off the seventh with a double down the right field line. Todd Helton looked to make a play on the sharply hit grounder, but it scooted past him, and Victorino cruised into second.

Wilton Lopez, who took over for Roy Oswalt, bounced back to avoid any further issues. Dustin Pedroia flied out, and David Ortiz was then intentionally walked. Lopez retired two straight hitters with runners on first and second after that.

Daniel Nava got ahead in the count 3-1 with two outs. Lopez eventually struck him out on a questionable pitch on the outside corner.

Junichi Tazawa will take over for John Lackey in the eighth inning.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 5-2: Any offensive momentum that the Rockies generated in the sixth inning didn’t carry over into the seventh.

John Lackey breezed through the frame as action began warming up in the Red Sox’ bullpen.

Lackey retired Josh Rutledge, DJ LeMahieu and Carlos Gonzalez in order. Gonzalez struck out swinging to complete the inning, giving Lackey 12 strikeouts for the contest.

Lackey has thrown 98 pitches (73 strikes) thus far. Action is continuing to warm in the ‘pen, though, so we’ll see if John Farrell makes a move for the eighth inning.

If that is indeed Lackey’s day, it was a solid effort for the veteran. He received a nice ovation from the Fenway Faithful as he walked off the mound.

End 6th, Red Sox 5-2: Stephen Drew tripled down the right field line in the sixth inning, but the Rockies cut him down at the plate one batter later.

Drew went diving headfirst into third base after yanking a three-bagger into the right field corner with one out. The ball hit off the wall, which created a brief problem for right fielder Michael Cuddyer.

Jose Iglesias, who actually attempted to drop down a safety squeeze on the first pitch of his at-bat, hit a ground ball to short. Drew took off on contact, and Josh Rutledge delivered a strong throw to the plate to record the out.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a little bloop popout to end the inning.

John Lackey will come back out for the seventh inning.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 5-2: Michael Cuddyer extended his career-long hit streak to 23 games with a leadoff homer in the sixth inning.

Cuddyer jumped on a first-pitch fastball and drove it off the Advil sign over the Green Monster in left-center field. The home run was Cuddyer’s 12th of the season, and the 23-game streak is the longest in the majors this season.

Wilin Rosario, who drove in Colorado’s first run back in the first inning, followed up with a double over Jacoby Ellsbury’s head in center field.

Rosario took third two batters later when Nolan Arenado singled into right field. John Lackey bounced back to minimize the inning’s damage, though.

Lackey struck out Tyler Colvin swinging for the second out following a brief mound visit. He then retired Yorvit Torrealba on a sharply hit liner to center.

The Rockies certainly squared up some balls in the sixth inning against Lackey, whose season-high strikeout total now sits at 11. The only run, however, came on Cuddyer’s first-pitch blast.

End 5th, Red Sox 5-1: Dustin Pedroia kicked off the bottom of the fifth inning with a single. That was the only offense.

David Ortiz followed up Pedroia’s single with a flyout to right field. Roy Oswalt, who somehow made it through five innings after a rough start, then struck out Mike Napoli and retired Daniel Nava on a forceout.

Oswalt is up to 86 pitches in this game. There’s no action in the Rockies’ bullpen just yet, so perhaps he’ll come back out for another inning.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 5-1: John Lackey added another strikeout to his season-high total in the fifth inning.

Lackey struck out the always dangerous Carlos Gonzalez to end the frame, giving the right-hander 10 K’s for the contest.

This represents Lackey’s 14th career 10-strikeout game, and it’s his first since 2010. He’s looked very sharp, striking out the side on three separate occasions, although the performance is really a continuation of the success that he’s enjoyed all season.

Lackey’s effort thus far is even more encouraging when you consider it comes on a day when Clay Buchholz will undergo an MRI. Buchholz was in the midst of a stellar season before going down with neck discomfort, and the more his injury lingers, the more the Red Sox will need their other starters to step up.

BostonFanFavorites.com matched Buchholz’s 2013 season through Week 11 up against Lefty Grove’s 1936 season. Check that out by clicking here.

End 4th, Red Sox 5-1: The Red Sox didn’t make much noise in the fourth inning.

Jose Iglesias, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino went down rather quickly.

Iglesias struck out, Ellsbury popped out to third base in foul territory and Victorino flied out to right field.

John Lackey will now head back to work and look to build on his season-high strikeout total.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 5-1: John Lackey has a new season high for strikeouts.

Lackey struck out three more in the fourth inning, and he now has nine strikeouts total. The right-hander had compiled eight strikeouts on three separate occasions this season before Wednesday’s start.

Lackey, who did surrender a double to Todd Helton in the fourth inning, struck out Wilin Rosario, Nolan Arenado and Tyler Colvin.

The righty continues to use a good mix of pitches. Rosario and Arenado went down swinging, while Colvin went down looking on a 3-2 cutter to end the inning.

The inning’s only blemish came when Helton doubled off the center field wall out of the reach of a leaping Jacoby Ellsbury. Lackey made sure it didn’t amount to anything by bouncing back against Colvin, though.

End 3rd, Red Sox 5-1: The Red Sox’ offense went back to work in the third inning.

Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia connected on back-to-back singles into left field before David Ortiz walked to load the bases.

Mike Napoli then drove in Boston’s fourth run with a hot-shot single into right field that scored Victorino from third base.

Finally, Roy Oswalt was able to record an out with Daniel Nava at the dish. It was still a productive out for the Red Sox, though, as Nava’s fly ball to center field scored Pedroia with Boston’s fifth run. Ortiz moved up to third and Napoli advanced to second on the flyout.

Oswalt escaped any further damage by striking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia and getting Stephen Drew to fly out to center. Tuesday’s offensive assault has certainly carried over into this one, though.

Mid 3rd, Red Sox 3-1: John Lackey didn’t add to his strikeout total in the third inning, but he still kept the Rockies’ offense in check.

Josh Rutledge hammered a ball to begin the inning. It was struck right at Dustin Pedroia, though, and Pedey stretched to snag it for the first out.

After DJ LeMahieu grounded out for the second out, Carlos Gonzalez — one of the NL’s biggest threats — dropped down a bunt. Jose Iglesias charged it, fielded it and fired to first base, but his throw was off the mark, and Gonzalez reached with an infield single.

Lackey made sure that Gonzalez, who singled and scored in the first inning, didn’t enjoy a similar fate this time around. The right-hander retired Michael Cuddyer on a routine fly ball to right field.

End 2nd, Red Sox 3-1: Roy Oswalt bounced back from a very rocky — or rockie (decent pun, right?) — first inning to record a perfect second inning.

Stephen Drew, Jose Iglesias and Jacoby Ellsbury went down in order.

Iglesias, who has mastered the art of the infield hit this season, tried to drop down a bunt with one out. He popped it up right in front of the plate, though, and Oswalt charged in to field it on the fly.

Mid 2nd, Red Sox 3-1: John Lackey is piling up the strikeouts early. Lackey, who struck out three in the first inning despite surrendering a run, struck out the side again in the second inning.

This time, Lackey didn’t let the Rockies do any damage on the scoreboard. He mowed down Nolan Arenado, Tyler Colvin and Yorvit Torrealba in order.

Arenado and Colvin each went down hacking, as Lackey’s fastball appears to have good late life on it. Torrealba went down looking in what was an overall impressive frame for Lackey.

End 1st, Red Sox 3-1: The Red Sox’ offense, which banged out 20 hits on Tuesday, is off and running.

Jacoby Ellsbury went the other way with a 1-1 fastball to kick off Boston’s first trip through the order. Carlos Gonzalez, who scored Colorado’s run in the top of the inning, leaped up against the wall, but the ball ricocheted off it and into center field. That enabled Ellsbury to cruise into second base with a leadoff double.

Ellsbury scored when Shane Victorino delivered an RBI single to tie the game at one apiece, and the Red Sox ended up snagging a lead.

David Ortiz labeled an RBI double off the Green Monster to plate Boston’s second run. He scored when Daniel Nava singled off the second base bag.

Nava’s hit was shot right back through the box, and it deflected off the base and into left field. Those are the types of things that tend to happen when the offense is rolling.

Mid 1st, Rockies 1-0: John Lackey struck out the side in the first inning. But the Rockies also grabbed an early lead.

Carlos Gonzalez snuck a broken-bat single inside the third base line with one down. Car-Go then swiped second base before eventually coming around to score on a two-out single from Wilin Rosario.

Gonzalez’s broken bat sent John Lackey jumping out of the way as the ball rolled just inside the line down at third base. The Red Sox had the shift on, so Jose Iglesias had to venture over a long way before tracking it down up against the wall. Rosario then ripped his single into right-center field two batters later.

Aside from the two hits, Lackey looked very sharp. He struck out DJ LeMahieu, Michael Cuddyer and Todd Helton. LeMahieu couldn’t hold up on a curveball in the dirt low and away. Cuddyer then fanned on a 94-mph fastball upstairs, while Helton went down looking at a heater. Lackey needed just three pitches in the at-bats against Cuddyer and Helton.

4:06 p.m.: John Lackey’s first pitch is a strike. We’re underway at a cloud-covered Fenway.

3:58 p.m.: We’re a few minutes away from baseball, and we have overcast skies at Fenway Park. The rain from earlier has subsided, though. Hopefully, the thunder-boomers will hold off, and we won’t be interrupted.

3:53 p.m.: Clay Buchholz’s injury has certainly forced other members of the Red Sox’ rotation to step up. That includes John Lackey, who has pitched very well all season.

John Farrell spoke highly of Lackey before Wednesday’s game, and the skipper emphasized that Lackey will continue to take on greater importance as we work our way through this season.

Lackey’s 3.03 ERA as of Wednesday is his best through his first 12 starts of a season since 2008 (when he was still a member of the Angels). The right-hander leads the American League (third in the majors) with a 1.04 home ERA this season.

Click here to read about Clay Buchholz’s injury >>

3:35 p.m.: The starting lineups are in. Shoot them a glance below.

Red Sox (46-33)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Jose Iglesias, 3B

John Lackey, RHP (4-5, 3.03 ERA)

Rockies (39-39)
DJ LeMahieu, 2B
Carlos Gonzalez, LF
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Wilin Rosario, DH
Todd Helton, 1B
Nolan Arenado, 3B
Tyler Colvin, CF
Yorvit Torrealba, C
Josh Rutledge, SS

Roy Oswalt, RHP (0-1, 7.20 ERA)

3:10 p.m.: The Red Sox announced a roster move, although it was expected.

Clayton Mortensen has been activated from the disabled list. To make room for him on the 25-man roster, Pedro Beato was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after Tuesday’s game.

2:10 p.m.: John Farrell chatted with the media before Wednesday’s game, and the duration of the conversation centered on right-hander Clay Buchholz, who hasn’t pitched since June 8 because of discomfort in his trapezius muscle.

Farrell said Buchholz threw soft toss off flat ground Wednesday, and he apparently did so as intensely as he did Tuesday. The right-hander’s status still remains up in the air at this point, though.

According to Farrell, Buchholz still felt some restriction in the same area after throwing off a mound. The righty threw 15-18 pitches with “decent intensity” on Wednesday before feeling the discomfort.

Buchholz is set to undergo an MRI later on Wednesday, and no time frame has been set for his return.

8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox are hosting the Rockies, but Fenway Park looked a lot like Coors Field on Tuesday.

The Red Sox’ offense banged out 20 hits while coasting to an 11-4 victory. Dustin Pedroia led the way with four RBIs, and six Red Sox hitters reached base at least three times in what was an all-around fantastic effort by Boston.

Ryan Dempster picked up the win Tuesday. On Wednesday, it’ll be John Lackey who looks to keep the ball rolling. Lackey has pitched very well of late, and he’ll go up against another accomplished veteran in Roy Oswalt.

Lackey, who has six quality starts in his last seven outings, has a 4-5 record and 3.03 ERA through 12 starts this season. He didn’t factor into the decision during his last time out Thursday, but he pitched well, allowing just two earned runs over seven innings against a potent Tigers offense.

The Red Sox and Rockies will begin their battle at 4:05 p.m. ET. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com’s live blog.