John Lackey Gets Final Tune-Up as Red Sox Take On Twins

The Mayor’s Cup is no longer an issue between the Red Sox and the Twins. This one is simply another tune-up for John Lackey, although he does not appear to need much more work.

Lackey, who will pitch in Boston’s third home game of the regular season against the Yankees, did not allow a run until his last start five days ago.

He’ll be opposed by Nick Blackburn in an April Fools’ Day matinee at City of Palms Park.

WHEN AND WHERE

April 1, 2010, 1:05 p.m.
City of Palms Park, Fort Myers, Fla.

RECORDS

Twins (15-12)
Red Sox (14-14)

HEAD TO HEAD

The Red Sox clinched the Mayor’s Cup with an 11-5 win over the Twins on Sunday. It gave Boston a 4-2 advantage in the series.

LINEUPS

Lineups will be posted as soon as they become available.

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Nick Blackburn (0-0, 2.45 ERA) vs. RHP John Lackey (1-1, 1.20 ERA)

After getting hurt each of the last two springs, Lackey’s March has looked effortless. He has yet to walk a man in 15 innings.

Blackburn is making his third start and fifth appearance overall.

STAT SHEET

Red Sox
Victor Martinez
‘s big day on Wednesday gave him 13 RBIs, still two behind Tug Hulett for the team lead.

Mike Lowell had his first two doubles and his first RBI of the spring on Wednesday.

Alan Embree
gave up four runs in an inning of work and still reduced his ERA. It sits at 38.57 after three outings.

Twins
Shortstop Alexi Casilla is just 6-for-47 (.128) with 11 strikeouts.

Catcher Joe Mauer has struck out once in 38 at-bats.

Starter Francisco Liriano has fanned 30 men in just 20 innings.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox
Boof Bonser
was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin, retroactive to March 26. He is still scheduled to throw on Saturday in a minor league game.

Infielder Jed Lowrie was also put on the 15-day DL with mono. As of the last report, he has yet to resume baseball-related activities.

Jeremy Hermida
took batting practice on Tuesday and likely will get into a major league game on Friday.

Twins
Blackburn has been dealing with a sore right knee this spring.

Starter Glen Perkins played catch the other day as he attempts to work through a strained lower back. He was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday.

OVERHEARD

“I’m a bit better at short.”
–Lowell, when asked how he is feeling at third base. Lowell turned a double play at second base on Wednesday after he was forced to cover it when the Sox went into a defensive shift.

PRESS BOX

Red Sox
Jeremy Hermida is on the mend.

Another take on the Josh Beckett situation.

Twins
No dessert for Denard Span.

There were a couple of moves in Twins camp on Wednesday.

MLB
Pass the pasta, please.

Brad Lidge gets a cortisone shot.

OUTLOOK

Josh Beckett and Jon Lester have both worked their pitch counts into the 90s in their final tune-ups. Look for Lackey to do the same.

The Twins are just looking to establish some momentum going into next year’s Mayor’s Cup.

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