Red Sox-Twins Live: John Lackey’s Efforts Help Push Sox To 4-1 Victory

Lackey Live blog

Final, Red Sox 4-1: Koji Uehara retired the side in order to secure the Sox’s 4-1 victory.

John Lackey shined for the first time in this year’s spring training, pitching six and 2/3 innings and collecting six strikeouts along the way.

Grady Sizemore and Will Middlebrooks each collected two hits for Boston. Both Sizemore and Middlebrooks were stranded on base in their initial attempts, but their persistence paid off in later innings.

Middlebrooks’ seventh inning double sent Mike McCoy home, while Sizemore’s single in the eighth began a three-hit streak that resulted in Boston’s 4-1 lead.

Xander Bogaerts also supplied a booming double and acted swiftly on the field. The shortstop’s fourth inning catch inhibited the Twins from scoring an early run.

The Red Sox are now tied 2-2 against the Twins. The Sox will face the Twins again on Friday at Hammond Stadium at 1:05 p.m.

End 8th, Red Sox 4-1: The Red Sox know how to work the Twins’ left-handed relievers.

Glen Perkins quickly retires Mike Carp and Jonathan Herrera for the first two outs of the inning.

Grady Sizemore turns it all around with a base hit that reminds John Farrell how much he wants to play on Opening Day.

Mike McCoy slams a line drive off the screen in left-center field that hauls the baserunner home and pushes the Sox to a 3-1 lead.

Twins’ outfielder Daniel Ortiz fails to catch David Ross’s sharp liner to deep left. McCoy sprints home, giving the Sox a three-run advantage.

Perkins strikes out Carlos Rivero, but the Twins have little hope to recover with RHP Koji Uehara on deck.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 2-1: Junichi Tazawa defends the Sox’s one-run lead with a quick 1-2-3 inning.

Tazawa strikes out Eduardo Escobar and Chris Colabello swinging. Oswaldo Arcia hits a chopper to first, but first baseman Stefan Welch flashes some leather and scampers to the bag for the third out.

LHP Glen Perkins is next up to pitch for the Twins.

End 7th, Red Sox 2-1: The Sox regain momentum and tack on one more run in the seventh.

Xander Bogaerts hammers the ball off the left-center field wall for a leadoff double. Mike McCoy pinch runs for Bogaerts and moves to third on a wild pitch.

David Ross strikes out swinging, but the Sox do not stay down for long, as Will Middlebrooks launches another double off the left-center field wall that brings McCoy home for a 2-1 game.

Jackie Bradley Jr. flies out, and Dustin Pedroia strikes out swinging to end the inning.

RHP Junichi Tazawa will take the mound for the Sox in the eighth.

Mid 7th, 1-1: The Twins are making a late comeback.

John Lackey is dismissed after six and one-third innings, but relief pitcher Edward Mujica does not extend Lackey’s stellar performance.

Mujica gives up two doubles, one to third baseman Nate Hanson and one to Aaron Hicks. Hicks launches one down the left field line that brings Hanson home and gives the Twins their tying run.

Grady Sizemore collects shortstop Jason Bartlett’s high drive toward right-center field, but the Twins have started to fight back in the seventh.

End 6th, Red Sox 1-0: Brian Duensing pitches a clean 1-2-3 inning for the Twins.

John Lackey will return to the mound at the top of the seventh.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 1-0: John Lackey remains unbreakable, picking up two more strikeouts in the sixth.

Joe Mauer drives one to first base, but Mike Napoli makes an impressive backhanded catch for the first out.

Lackey strikes out Oswaldo Arcia and Josh Willingham to retire the side in order.

LHP Brian Duensing will pitch for the Twins in the bottom half of the inning.

End 5th, Red Sox 1-0: Will Middlebrooks’ efforts are shot by his teammates, who leave him stranded at third base.

Middlebrooks leads off with a long shot to right center field and hustles to third for a triple.

Jackie Bradley Jr. fouls out by third base. Daniel Nava grounds to second for the second out.

Pedroia hits one high and deep to center field but the Twins block his offering, and Boston ends the inning without doing any further damage to Minnesota.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 1-0: Xander Bogaerts helps the Red Sox narrowly escape a tie game.

John Lackey opens the inning by retiring Trevor Plouffe, his fourth strikeout victim.

Kurt Suzuki pops out to center field.

Jackie Bradley Jr. lays out to catch Aaron Hicks’ sharp liner to shallow right field but cannot trap the ball. Hicks earns a single.

Pedro Florimon rallies for the Twins with a drill toward left-center field that brings him to first and pushes Hicks to third.

Brian Dozier grounds to shortstop, but Xander Bogaerts catches the ball to end the Twins’ hitting streak.

End 4th, Red Sox 1-0: The Sox leave Grady Sizemore on base and fail to tack on more runs.

Mike Napoli charges one toward left-center, but Brian Dozier beats him to second for the first out of the second half.

Grady Sizemore follows up with a high fly ball to off the left field wall that would most certainly be a home run at Fenway Park.

Sizemore trots comfortably to second, but the Twins prevent Xander Bogaerts and A.J. Pierzynski from advancing the runner.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 1-0: John Lackey continues to impress as the Twins do not gain any hits in the fourth.

Joe Mauer kicks off the inning with a grounder that bounces off Lackey’s glove, but Will Middlebrooks scoops up the ball and flips it to first base in time for the out.

Lackey strikes out Oswaldo Arcia and walks Josh Willingham.

Xander Bogaerts prevents Willingham’s advancement by snagging Jason Kubel’s soft line drive toward second.

End 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: The Sox cannot widen their lead in the third.

Jason Kubel jumps in front of the scoreboard to catch Daniel Nava’s leadoff fly ball to left field.

Dustin Pedroia hits a sharp line drive to center field, but Aaron Hicks is there for the second out.

David Ortiz strikes out, and the Twins have retired the side in order.

Mid 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: John Lackey pitches strongly for a painless 1-2-3 inning and collects his second strikeout against Pedro Florimon.

End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox are on the board thanks to powerful hits from Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski.

Napoli leads off with a groundball charged to left-center field for a base hit.

Grady Sizemore draws Kevin Correia’s first walk of the game.

A.J. Pierzynski hits five straight fouls before drilling a barely fair ball to the outfield that pushes him to second, Sizemore to third, and allows Napoli to run home.

Will Middlebrooks pops out to Brian Dozier. Jackie Bradley Jr. also offers one to second base that Dozier flips to first for the out.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: The Twins make a little noise in the top of the second, but John Lackey and the Sox do not allow them any runs.

Lackey picks up his first strikeout against DH Josh Willingham.

Mike Napoli handles Jason Kubel’s weak foul to first.

Trevor Plouffe slams one deep off of the left field wall for an easy double, but Kurt Suzuki’s high popup lands with Will Middlebrooks at third base to retire the side.

End 1st, 0-0: Kevin Correia fires out a first-pitch strike to Daniel Nava.

Nava flies out to left fielder Jason Kubel.

Dustin Pedroia sneaks a dribbler through the gap left of second base for a single.

David Ortiz fouls several times before grounding to second baseman Brian Dozier, who throws to first baseman Joe Mauer with plenty of time to induce the double play.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Brian Dozier grounds down to second base, but Dustin Pedroia quickly secures the out.

Twins’ first baseman Joe Mauer knocks one past second for a base hit. Oswaldo Arcia follows with a weak grounder to second, and the Sox end the first half with a seamless 4-6-3 double play.

7:05 p.m.: John Lackey throws a first-pitch ball to leadoff batter Brian Dozier. We’re underway at JetBlue Park.

6:25 p.m.: Opening Day looks bright for Shane Victorino.

After suffering soreness on his left side throughout much of spring training, the outfielder gained three hits in six at-bats during a minor league game today. Victorino will play in right field on Opening Day.

The Red Sox are expected to release other roster decisions later this evening, but Farrell will not announce the center field position until Friday.

4:55 p.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox are set to kick off a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins at JetBlue Park at 7:05 p.m. The Sox, who currently hold the worst spring training record with 16 losses, are 1-2 versus the Twins.

RHP John Lackey will make his fourth spring training start for Boston. Lackey gave up ten hits in under five innings during his start against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, but he said he is more concerned with building up strength for the regular season.

Regular season prospect Grady Sizemore is batting in the middle of tonight’s lineup, following Sox manager John Farrell’s Thursday announcement that the center fielder will not bat leadoff for the team even if he does make the major league roster. Farrell has yet to release whether or not he plans to start Sizemore on Opening Day.

Check out each team’s complete lineups below.

Boston Red Sox
Daniel Nava, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Grady Sizemore, CF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., RF

John Lackey, RHP

Minnesota Twins
Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Oswaldo Arcia, RF
Josh Willingham, DH
Jason Kubel, LF
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Aaron Hicks, CF
Pedro Florimon, SS

Kevin Correia, RHP

Be sure to check back at NESN.com for live blog updates throughout the game.

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