The Atlanta Braves’ offense made life difficult for the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.
John Lackey eclipsed the 80-pitch barrier while working 4 2/3 innings against the Braves on Saturday. The results weren’t great, but the right-hander said the main focus of his third spring training start was to continue to build up arm strength.
The Red Sox will play the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday. Let’s glance over some leftover notes before that game kicks off.
– Lackey gave up five runs on 10 hits, marking the second straight start he has given up five runs. The Braves definitely knocked Lackey around, but the wind also played a factor in the home runs he surrendered to Andrelton Simmons and Dan Uggla.
Lackey struck out six and didn’t walk anyone Saturday, if you’re searching for silver linings.
– Oh yeah, and how about Lackey’s defense?
Lackey had a very eventful third inning, and it was highlighted by some nifty glove work. The veteran pitcher dropped to his knees while taking a bunt single away from Jordan Schafer.
“I just asked (Dustin Pedroia) if he liked that one after the play,” Lackey said. “He was pretty fired up. It was fun.”
Lackey got drilled on the backside by a line drive in that same inning, but everything checked out OK and he remained in the game.
– Dalier Hinojosa struggled mightily in the seventh inning. He gave up two hits, two walks and a sacrifice fly while consistently falling behind hitters before manager John Farrell gave him the hook.
– Hinojosa joined pitcher Rich Hill in being sent to minor league camp on Sunday. Catcher Dan Butler was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.
– Francisco Cordero and Tommy Layne continued their solid springs by combining for 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Neither reliever has given up a run to this point.
“He’s done an outstanding job,” Farrell said Saturday regarding Cordero, a three-time All-Star closer looking to revitalize his career. “He’s used all his pitches. He came in here with no guarantees and taken every opportunity to make the most of it.”
– Xander Bogaerts produced an RBI double Saturday, and his spring average now sits at .189. Jackie Bradley Jr. collected an RBI single to push his average to .191.
– Mike Carp might soon see game action at third base. He has been taking ground balls there regularly this spring.
“I’m expecting it any time soon,” said Carp. “I’m just waiting for that opportunity.”
According to CSNNE.com, the Red Sox had planned to get Carp some innings at third base last Sunday, but Will Middlebrooks left that game with an injured finger, forcing Boston to scrap its initial plan.
Carp shouldn’t have as many bee problems while playing third base.
– Grady Sizemore is getting ready for a big test. He’ll play in three straight games for the first time this spring.
The plan is for Sizemore to play Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. He’ll then have Wednesday off before playing Thursday and Friday.
Photo via Twitter/@abby_lovee