John Lackey’s Cutter ‘A Work In Progress’; Other Red Sox Spring Training Notes

John LackeyFORT MYERS, Fla. — The Boston Red Sox marked St. Patrick’s Day by breaking out offensively.

The Red Sox scored 10 runs on 12 hits Monday en route to a 10-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in a World Series rematch at JetBlue Park. Boston smacked three homers in a day in which the club rocked green jerseys in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

The Red Sox have the New York Yankees on their schedule for Tuesday. But before focusing on the boys in pinstripes, let’s tie up some loose ends from Monday’s events.

-Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli and Ryan Lavarnway went yard for Boston.

-Lavarnway’s solid spring production (two homers, 9-for-26) comes at a good time for the Red Sox. According to’s Sean McAdam, Lavarnway is being shopped around. The 26-year-old backstop currently is being crowded out of playing time at both the major league level and Triple-A Pawtucket.

-Grady Sizemore looked like vintage Grady Sizemore. He shined both offensively and defensively, continuing an excellent spring. The chances of Sizemore starting the season as the Red Sox’s starting center fielder seemingly are increasing each day.

“That’s what I’m going for,” Sizemore said Monday of being an everyday player again. “That’s the ultimate goal. Trying to get to the point where you can be productive and be out there every day. I don’t know. I don’t have that answer. It’s definitely a possibility. I don’t know if they’re going to roll me out there 25 out of 25 (games). Let’s get through tomorrow first before we start talking about the season. I just want to keep getting better and better.”

-Sizemore is expected to play in back-to-back games — for the second time this spring — Wednesday and Thursday.

-John Lackey got touched up a bit, surrendering five runs on six hits in five innings. The right-hander struck out three, walked two and threw 60 pitches (39 strikes).

Lackey wasn’t focused on his stat line, though. He’s beginning to work on his secondary pitches after throwing primarily four-seam fastballs in his spring training debut.

“(I) threw my cutter for the first time today, came out of it healthy, keep moving,” Lackey said after Monday’s outing. “The first one I threw was terrible. It was the first hit I gave up, a single up the middle. It got a little better (as the game went on). I had a strikeout on it one time. It’s a work in progress, for sure.”

-Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa were their usual effective selves, working 1-2-3 eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

-Catcher Christian Vazquez, pitcher Allen Webster and shortstop Deven Marrero were cut from big league camp before Monday’s game. Vazquez and Webster were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, and Marrero was reassigned to minor league camp.

-The Baltimore Orioles announced Chris Tillman will be their Opening Day starter against the Red Sox.

Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.

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