Four Real? Another Day, Another Hero. Red Sox vs Padres 7-2-13
Pete Lepak RedSoxLife Staff Writer
Game 85: Lackey is King and Sox win 4-1
John Lackey is the ace of the 2013 Boston Red Sox. I would have laughed out loud if someone wrote that in April, but I am serious about it now. Lackey has looked very strong this year, especially lately, and in his last four starts, he has gone at least seven innings, only giving up a total of four runs in those games. At Fenway Park this season, Lackey is 4-1 with 1.32 ERA. And while not much offense was created in tonight's game, and Boston only went 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position, they capitalized on more opportunities than San Diego to earn the win. Here are the four at bats that changed the game:
2) New Guy, Same Result. In the bottom of the fourth inning, patience scores runs for Boston. The Red Sox do a great job of wearing down pitchers because they take a lot of pitches. For example, in this inning, David Ortiz singled on the third pitch. Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia then walked on full counts. In Brandon Synder's eighth pitch of the at bat, he pounds the ball down the left field line but it just lands foul. Erlin tries to fool Synder with a belt high fastball on pitch nine, but Synder is not fooled. He crushes the ball to straight away center field. It smacks against the top of the Green Monster in left center field, and when it hits the ground, three runs score. Synder is thrown out at third, but the Sox again have a lead early in a game. 3-0 Sox.
3) Gotcha! In the top of the fifth inning, Nick Hundley doubles down the left field line to start lead-off. Alexi Amarista follows with a long, high shot to the Green Monster, but left fielder Johnny Gomes raises his glove and pretends like it is going to be a routine out. Gomes's play freezes Hundley between second and third , and when the ball bangs off the wall, Hundley is surprised it wasn't caught, and so he only advances to third when he should have scored easily. The move pays off, because Boston then retires the next three men to strand two on base. 3-0 Sox.
Koji Uehara entered the ninth inning and shut down the Padres 1-2-3 to preserve the 51st win of the year for the Sox. Hugs all around as Koji strikes out two men. Tomorrow, Boston and San Diego go at it at 7:10pm when Jon Lester faces Edinson Volquez.