Red Sox Live Blog: Angels Throttle John Lackey, Red Sox to Gain Series Split at Fenway Park

Red Sox Live Blog: Angels Throttle John Lackey, Red Sox to Gain Series Split at Fenway Park

Postgame, Angels 11-0: Not a lot to take from this one. The Red Sox needed a big start from John Lackey because of their battered bullpen, but didn’t get it.

To his credit, Lackey took the blame.

“Last night was rough on the guys,” Lackey said. “I took off a little early to get ready. I definitely think there was a sense of me needing to pitch well to get some momentum going early on, for sure. If I would’ve pitched well I think guys might’ve found a little more energy today, for sure. I think my lack of execution and my lack of pitching hurt that.”

On the other side of the coin was Scott Atchison. It wasn’t pretty, but he spared the bullpen any more wear and tear with a career-long 3 2/3 innings. His reward was an immediate departure to Pawtucket in a move that will be formalized later on, perhaps with a swap for Alfredo Aceves.

For what he did, Atchison was getting plenty of hugs on his way out of the clubhouse, including a big one from David Ortiz. A lot of respect for a guy who takes one for the team, so to speak.

“He’ll always take the ball and stay out there and kind o, save your staff,” manager Terry Francona said. “It was a miserable day, but hopefully we can win a game tomorrow because he stayed out there today.”

When they try for that win, it will be behind Tim Wakefield, who makes his second start of the season against Minnesota. Daisuke Matsuzaka, originally scheduled to go, was bumped to Sunday. Clay Buchholz goes Saturday. Jon Lester and Josh Beckett are Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

In other news, Jed Lowrie is just fine after rolling over his wrist on that bizarre play in the fifth. Lowrie even doubled after that incident. Kevin Youkilis, however, was being examined after the game. He had a bruised hand as a result of the play, according to Francona.

Youkilis has now had two hand-related issues, hip pain and an illness that knocked him out of Tuesday’s game.

Lastly, Bobby Jenks had an MRI which revealed only some right bicep tendinitis, a positive diagnosis.

“Structurally it was really good,” Francona said. “He has some bicep tendinitis we need to deal with, but the news was really good.”

With that we bid adieu to the Angels for the rest of the 2011 regular season and turn our attention to the Twins, who will be here Friday night to face Wakefield. Please follow along.

Final, Angels 11-0: A series that began with nothing but positives for the Red Sox ends on a very negative note.

Boston is outhit 18-7, commits the game’s only error and heads home for what figures to be a much-needed nap.

Heading down to get some reaction, as well as the expected Alfredo Aceves news.

Mid 9th, Angels 11-0: The pressure is on Francisco Rodriguez as he attempts to get the last three outs. Remember, Dustin Pedroia is waiting on the bench, just in case the Sox get 10 men on.

End 8th, Angels 11-0: Kevin Youkilis put a charge into one that was tracked down on the track in right. He is hitting .233.

That’s about all I have for the bottom of the eighth. Oh wait, no. Jacoby Ellsbury had a hit to extend his hitting streak to 14, the second-longest in the majors behind Andre Ethier’s 29-game run.

Ellsbury’s career high hit streak is 22.

Mid 8th, Angels 11-0: And that’s what the Red Sox hope to see from Rich Hill for the next two weeks, or more. He baffles left-handed hitter Alexi Amarista to get the last out of the eighth.

Then again, that was Alexi Amarista in the eighth inning of a blowout. We will see if Hill gets some high-leverage situations against lefties coming up.

4:21 p.m.: Scott Atchison gets the first two outs of the eighth, walks a man and then yields to Rich Hill.

Atchison did his job. He spared the bullpen with 3 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits in the process.

Hill remains an intriguing guy whose conversion from starter to reliever is complete and the results (and confidence) are coming. Since joining the organization he has pitched well, whether it be in meaningless affairs late last year, spring training or at Pawtucket.

End 7th, Angels 11-0: The rain showers are pretty light right now and we will keep playing through this. A rain delay now might cause a few sleep-deprived reporters leaping out of the press box.

Not I, however. I forge on to bring you the riveting recap of the bottom of the seventh. Adrian Gonzalez struck out looking, David Ortiz singled, Jed Lowrie struck out looking, J.D. Drew walked and Jarrod Saltalamacchia flew to center.

There you go.

Scott Atchison remains in the game. Looks like his fellow PawSox import, Rich Hill, is warming in the pen.

Mid 7th, Angels 11-0: A few more sarcastic cheers when Scott Atchison finally ends the seventh. He gave up a pair on a Bobby Abreu double, the 17th hit of the game for the Angels. Boston has three.

If the score stays the same, it would match the largest losing margin of the season. You might recall the 16-5 loss to Tampa Bay here last month.

End 6th, Angels 9-0: I plan on writing about this postgame, but since it’s on my mind, figured I would share the thought.

The Red Sox, just 48 hours ago, were sitting pretty, aside from a stomach bug going through the clubhouse. For the most part they were healthy and most units were performing well. Momentum was on their side.

You wonder how the marathon loss and then what looks like a blowout loss just hours later will affect this team. Periods like this, especially when they involve roster turmoil and injuries and the like, can have an impact for a little while. Something to think about.

3:47 p.m.: Joel Pineiro is done after 5 2/3 pretty easy innings. Barring a shocking development, he’ll pick up his first win of the year. Rich Thompson is the new Angels pitcher.

According to the great Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, Alfredo Aceves was indeed scratched from his start for Pawtucket today. We expect to hear that he is starting tomorrow at Fenway against Minnesota.

Confirmation will come postgame.

Mid 6th, Angels 9-0: Another hit, the 14th of the day for the Angels, gives them a chance to get into double digits as Alberto Callaspo doubled and moved to third.

Scott Atchison don’t play that, though. He wins a long battle with Mark Trumbo with a strikeout. Atch will probably get another inning or even more.

End 5th, Angels 9-0: The Red Sox get one ball off the Green Monster, another into the triangle and a walk among the first three hitters. Nobody even reaches third base.

David Ortiz led it off with the wall-ball hit, but was an easy out trying to stretch it into a double. He’s an important run, so you can see why he would take the gamble (sarcasm).

Jed Lowrie had the blast into the triangle for a double. J.D. Drew then walked.

But a 4-6-3 double play ended the inning and extends what is amounting to a really miserable 24 hours for the Sox.

Mid 5th, Angels 9-0: Scott Atchison comes on and gets a quick out, as he is wont to do. Then, a bizarre play at second base sees Jed Lowrie jam his glove hand making a dive and Kevin Youkilis get hurt on an awkward meeting with the runner at second

Peter Bourjos, who hit the ball, raced all the way to an uncovered third on what was ruled a double and an error on Marco Scutaro.

That extra base proves costly as a chopper to first goes off the glove of the normally sure-handed Adrian Gonzalez, scoring another run.

Another single followed and almost another, but Lowrie, seemingly OK, made a sensational leaping catch of a line drive and doubled off the man at second. Both men were seen by trainers and stayed in. Youkilis seems to have a physical issue on a daily basis, doesn’t he?

3:08 p.m.: To say John Lackey didn’t have it is like saying last night’s game was pretty manageable.

Lackey was sent out to begin the fifth and try to eat up a few more outs for a thin bullpen. He didn’t get one. A single and a homer chases Lackey, and new arrival Scott Atchison is in.

That vibration you experiences while sitting at your desk was just the boos from Fenway.

End 4th, Angels 6-0: Boston gets its first hit when Carl Crawford rockets one off Joel Pineiro, who was OK but had no play once tracking it down near the third-base line.

John Lackey is back out there to work the fifth. He has thrown 91 pitches, many of them poor, so this will be it. My prediction? Lackey gets through the fifth just fine, the Red Sox win 7-6 and he improves to 3-3.

Mid 4th, Angels 6-0: John Lackey had two outs and nobody on and had just picked up his first strikeout of the game. There was a passing thought that he might settle in a bit and get the Sox through six or so in good shape.

But five straight hits, most of them with runners moving on the bases, gave Anaheim three more runs.

While Boston is seeking its first hit, the Angels have eight. They have gone first to third five times already. That, or at least the mention of it, makes’s Michael Hurley pretty happy.

2:51 p.m.: If not for a rare good throw to second by Jarrod Saltalamacchia to nail a runner, the fourth would’ve been extremely ugly. As it is, things are not easy to look at, and John Lackey is not long for this one.

Four straight singles have led to two runs and it is 5-0. Angels still batting.

End 3rd, Angels 3-0: The Red Sox are hitless through three, keeping with a trend in this series.

In innings 1-4 of the set, Boston has scored one run (15 total innings so far). In innings 5-8, they’ve pushed in 16 runs. Have patience, people.

Mid 3rd, Angels 3-0: That “Angels baseball” stuff is sometimes garbage, but they are doing some of the things for which they have a reputation in terms of running the bases.

After John Lackey hit the speedy Peter Bourjos to start the inning (never a good way to begin a frame), he gave up a single to Erick Aybar that put runners on the corners.

Howie Kendrick drove in Bourjos with a groundout and the Angels also picked up two more stolen bases, running their total in this game to three. Then came the big hit, a two-run double by Alberto Callaspo (after a walk to Torii Hunter, of course).

Lackey threw 31 pitches in the inning. Looks like I jinxed him with my post an inning ago.

End 2nd, 0-0: A one-out walk to David Ortiz precedes a double-play grounder by Jed Lowrie, and we move to third scoreless. Interesting to not that the Sox have two lefties together at the top of the order and two more in the 4-5 spots.

Anaheim’s pen, particularly its left-handers, are not much to write home about right now, so Terry Francona can be confident doing this.

So we are still unsure as to who will start Friday night against Minnesota. It seems unlikely that Daisuke Matsuzaka will get the call.

That leaves a handful of options. Tim Wakefield, of course, could go. It would be five days since his last start, although he did get two outs last night.

Alfredo Aceves is scheduled to pitch tonight for Pawtucket. If he gets scratched from that, we know it will be him. Felix Doubront is in the PawSox rotation but he hasn’t been completely stretched out and just threw 3 1/3 innings in a start on Wednesday, so he’s out.

Brandon Duckworth started Tuesday (six innings), so he’s not available. Kyle Weiland, a lanky right-hander who has had a pretty good first month for Pawtucket, is an option. Andrew Miller would be on turn, but he’s been so erratic in the minors they don’t want to disrupt his progress. Scott Atchison has the ability to throw four innings or so, but with a thin bullpen already, the Sox will be looking for someone who can get them through five, six or more.

We should know after this game, for sure.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: John Lackey before his 12-day layoff a few weeks ago: 15 runs in 8 2/3 innings (15.58 ERA). Since then? Three runs in 22 innings (1.23) after a perfect second.

Lackey has also had an early flip-flop in his day-night splits. Last year he was 2-5 with a 5.77 ERA in day games, compared to 12-6 with a 3.89 mark at night. In 2011, through the second inning, he is 2-0 with a 3.60 mark in the afternoon, 0-3, 6.89 at night.

Not lacking on the Lackey numbers.

End 1st, 0-0: Strap yourselves in, this one’s totally going extras.

Joel Pineiro, the former Red Sox, sets down side in order, matching an early zero with John Lackey, the former Angel.

In case anyone is interested, most writers left here around 4:00 this morning, some staying until 5:00, and most were back by 10:00. Yours truly skipped out by 3:45 due to an early trip to the home by some contractors and a little boy who likes to wake up at 6:00 and tell me he’s pooped.

In any event, it’s interesting in the press box to hear everyone’s war stories of driving home with the sun coming up or getting two hours of sleep. Also, there’s coffee. Lots of coffee.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Not the very sharpest of innings for John Lackey, but the Angels deserve some of the credit.  Howie Kendrick did a nice job of hitting an outside slider up the middle for a one-out hit, and Torii Hunter won a good battle with Lackey for a two-out walk.

The Angels wasted the chance (they’ve done that plenty in this series) with an Alberto Callaspo bouncer to first.

1:03 p.m.: John Lackey, who undoubtedly got to go home early last night, was all smiles and looking like a million bucks this morning in the Red Sox clubhouse. He had headphones on, a smile on his face and may have been the only person not clutching a coffee and yawning.

Lackey dominated his former team the last time out, throwing eight scoreless in Anaheim.

He will face a pretty similar lineup in this one. Here it is:

Erick Aybar, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Bobby Abreu, LF
Torii Hunter, DH
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Vernon Wells, RF
Mark Trumbo, 1B
Jeff Mathis, C
Peter Bourjos, CF

That order is a collective 37-for-162 (.228) off Lackey.

An odd note on Lackey’s season so far. He left the AL West a year ago, yet this will be his fifth start out of six against teams from that division. Aside from a disaster in his season debut in Texas, the results have been pretty good so far.

12:20 p.m.: A few more quick updates before I go for tacos (Cinqo de Mayo spread in media dining room).

The decision to rest Dustin Pedroia was a pretty easy one. It’s time, not only because of his slump but because of the quick turnaroud. He will miss a chance to face Joel Pineiro, against whom he is 4-for-6, but it was time.

“He needs it,” Terry Francona said. “We only want to give Pedey days off when he needs it because he’s such a good player, even when he’s not swinging the bat. He needs it. It’ll be good for him. He plays so hard, he’s so all-out, with the quick turnaround this will be good for him.”

J.D. Drew called in this morning and told Francona he is past his latest bout of vertigo. Good to go.

As for the Jenks/Wheeler situations, one is a concern, the other not so much. Jenks will need to be checked out to make sure everything is OK. Francona said he doesn’t expect it to be anything serious, but they have to make sure.

As for Wheeler, who is on the DL for the first time in his long career, it’s just precautionary, or made up, depending on what you want to believe. Wheeler has been struggling mightily, leaving so much out over the plate. Whether he actually feels something in his calf or not, he could use a couple of weeks to get his legs under him.

For his part, the reported injury is not a concern.

“That’s the route we’re gonna go, just get it good and healed up,” he said. “It’s not going to be an issue.”

As for Daisuke Matsuzaka, Francona indicated that there is still a chance he could pitch on his turn tomorrow, but his “guess is no.” Don’t bank on it. As for who takes his start, that’s up in the air. It could be Tim Wakefield, but Scott Atchison has been stretched out a bit at Pawtucket. He grabbed a Matsuzaka start last year on short notice and performed rather well. There could still be some more shuffling in the next day or so to get someone like Alfredo Aceves up, although he is scheduled to pitch tonight in Scranton.

Francona and a few other coaches spent the night/morning at Fenway, and likely received a couple of hours sleep at the most, considering they talked into dawn about the roster shuffle that needed to take place.

The rest of the overnighters consisted of clubhouse personell.

“The laundry’s gotta get done,” Francona said.

11:58 a.m.: It was Bobby Jenks’ biceps that cramped up on him last night and will send the struggling righty to the DL. Dan Wheeler has a left calf issue, something that doesn’t appear to be very serious but necessitates a move with the bullpen strapped.

More on all of this in a bit.

10:28 a.m.: About to head down to the clubhouse. We expect to see some changes in the lockers, with a pitcher or maybe even two up from Pawtucket to fill in today. There could be changes to the rotation, too, since Daisuke Matsuzaka went in relief.

Terry Francona will fill us in on all that, but check the Twitter feed for any updates we can fire off in between activities.

There is word that the Angels returned to their hotel long after the Minnesota Twins, the next Fenway Park opponent, had checked into theirs in Boston. Baseball is a wacky ride if you follow these teams closely and realize all the travel and awkward nights of sleep they get. Sometimes just catching a team at the right time is all that matters…perhaps we will see that when the Twins series starts against the fatigued Sox.

10:05 a.m.: Greetings from Fenway Park, where it would’ve been prudent to just curl up on the floor. Undoubtedly, there were a few in the Red Sox clubhouse who did just that, or at least found a couch.

Some major lineup shifts for this one. The slumping Dustin Pedroia is out, Carl Crawford is moved up to No. 2, and Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Gonzalez are flip-flopped.

Have a look:

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Carl Crawford, LF
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Jed Lowrie, SS
J.D. Drew, RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Marco Scutaro, 2B

8 a.m.: Just hours after a marathon game ended in the early-morning hours at Fenway Park, the Red Sox and Angels will finish a four-game set Thursday afternoon.

A rain delay of two hours, 35 minutes, was nestled nicely in a five-hour, 13-inning affair that began Wednesday night and finished just before 3 a.m. Thursday. The culmination was a 5-3 win for Anaheim, the club’s first win in seven tries versus Boston this year.

Former Angel John Lackey gets the start Thursday for the Red Sox, who may need to make some roster moves prior to the start of the game. They used up every available bullpen arm Wednesday night with the exception of Bobby Jenks, but he suffered a cramped arm and was not able to enter the game after warming up.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, making his first career relief outing, got the loss after giving up the decisive two-run single in the top of the 13th.

The game was the longest at Fenway Park since a 14-inning loss to Tampa Bay on Sept. 10, 2008, lasted five hours, two minutes. That game did not have a rain delay of 155 minutes.

Joel Pineiro makes his second start of the season for the Angels on Thursday. First pitch is 1:35 p.m

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