Terry Francona: ‘We Gave Them Extra Opportunities’

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Terry Francona: 'We Gave Them Extra Opportunities' Jon Lester was good on Thursday night. But John Lackey was better.

Lackey has had his fair share of struggles against the Red Sox. To illustrate: Through September and October, he had just one loss, and it came against Boston on Sept. 15. That day, he lasted 7 2/3 innings but gave up three runs on eight hits as the Angels lost 4-1.

In the past, Lackey has been a victim of poor run support, but for once, the dead bats were on Boston’s side on Thursday. Meanwhile, all Lackey needed was a three-run bomb from Torii Hunter in the fifth inning, and he cruised the rest of the way, getting better and better with each inning. In the end, his 7 1/3 shutout innings were just as inspiring to the Angels as they were demoralizing to the Red Sox. It was just the fifth time in postseason history the Red Sox were shut out, and the first time in 14 years.

“Lackey had a lot of life on his fastball,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said during Thursday’s edition of Red Sox Extra Innings. “It looked like it was moving both ways. … He was good. He was real good.”

Lester lasted six innings, allowing three runs on four hits. It was decent, but it wasn’t decent enough on a night when the offense was dormant and the umpires’ judgment was questionable.

“We gave them some extra opportunities,” Francona said. “[Hunter’s home run] was huge because of the way Lackey was pitching. Three runs seemed like a lot.”

You can watch Francona’s entire postgame news conference here:

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