John Lackey Tosses Three Shutout Innings as Red Sox Pound Mets 8-2 PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — John Lackey
is off to a nice start with the Red Sox.

The right-hander threw three shutout
innings in Boston’s 8-2 victory over Jason Bay and the New York Mets on
Thursday.

Lackey allowed three hits and has yet
to allow a run in five innings over two outings this spring. The former
Angels star joined the Red Sox in December when he finalized an $82.5
million, five-year contract.

He finished his day with 12 pitches in
the bullpen before rain moved in and caused a 30-minute delay after the
fourth inning.

“I’m down in the zone,” Lackey said.
“I threw a lot of strikes, and I’m happy with the number of ground balls
I got.”

The Mets again were without speedy
shortstop Jose Reyes, who has been told to rest and refrain from
athletic activity for two to eight weeks until his thyroid levels
normalize. The diagnosis puts him in doubt for opening day.

Bay, playing in his first game against
his former team, went 0-for-2 before leaving during the delay. The left
fielder has just two hits in 14 at-bats this spring but said the
transition to a new team has gone smoothly.

Bay, who signed a $66 million,
four-year deal with New York over the winter, received a warm greeting
from some of his former teammates before the game.

“You build some good friendships over
there, some good teammates and stuff, and it’s always good to see those
guys, but at the same time, I’m happy to be here,” Bay said. “It’s a
part of baseball, but I still keep up with those guys.”

Mike Pelfrey allowed three runs and
four hits — all in the first — over three innings for New York. He
struck out four and walked one.

“I felt good,” he said. “I thought I
just left some balls up and they put them in some good spots. I guess
that’s just the name of the game.”

J.D. Drew and Jeremy Hermida each
singled in a run in the first for Boston, and Mike Cameron had a
sacrifice fly.

Pelfrey said the bruise on his right
knee from being hit by a line drive in his first start did not cause any
discomfort.

“I even got up and covered first one
time, so it felt totally normal,” he said.

Mike Jacobs, in camp on a minor
league contract, and Jason Pridie hit consecutive homers in the seventh
for New York.

Notes
Red Sox 3B Mike Lowell, who is
out with a right thumb injury, is expected to play Monday against the
Orioles. … Boston RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (back) is expected to throw a
bullpen on Saturday and manager Terry Francona estimated he would pitch
in a game by March 17.