In a somewhat unusual 4:00pm start at Fenway, the Red Sox cruised to a victory on the shoulders of John Lackey.
Lackey, who has shown flashes of being an ace so far this year, was masterful versus the Rockies. He tied a career high with 12 strikeouts over seven innings on 98 pitches, while allowing eight hits and only two earned runs. Lackey went out for the eighth inning, but allowed a solo homer to Michael Cuddyer and was pulled by manager John Farrell.
If there was a "Comeback of the Year from being a Fat Stiff" award, Lackey would certainly be a top candidate. We all know the dramatic weight loss when he showed up at Spring Training; but the fact that he has a 2.99 ERA and is consistently hurling six to seven innings per outing is fantastic.
Shane Victorino continued his torrid pace, going 3 for 4 with two earns in today's game. Since June 20th, the Flyin' Hawaiian is 11 of his last 25 (.440) with five runs, and eight RBI. Also with a hot streak himself is Papi, who is 9 of his last 20 (.450). Between last night and today, the Rockies have allowed a five walks to Papi.
You gotta love the Koji Uehara in his new closer's role. He's always pumped after an successful inning...high fives galore! But after seeing him toss a 1-2-3 9th to get his first save as closer? Just awesome.
The red-hot Blue Jays come into Fenway tomorrow for a big divisional four-game series. Chien-Ming Wang takes the mound for the Jays, while Jon Lester looks to turn his struggles around for the Sox. First pitch is at 7:10pm.