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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lackey finally earns some of his joke contract

One thing I never understand is why people get so wrapped up with hefty contracts in sports. Yes athletes make way too much but since we don't pay them, who cares?

As soon as the Red Sox signed John Lackey last winter, everyone save for maybe him and his trophy wife and agent, knew that Boston was overpaying him. Still, if you're a big market team with one of the highest payrolls in MLB, that's the way it goes.

Without question, Lackey had predictably been a flop in his first season until his last three starts. At the time when they need him most, Lackey (10-5) has put together three great outings in a row. For him, last night's was surely the most meaningful as he returned to Anaheim and helped the Sox (57-44) 4-2 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Lackey went 7.2 innings, allowing two runs (both earned) on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

Making it even sweeter, he outdueled his former protege, Jered Weaver (9-7). The younger and more talented Weaver brother was in control for most of his night: seven innings, two runs (both earned) on two walks and eight strikeouts.

It looked likely to be another low-scoring loss for the Red Sox as the Angels took a 1-0 lead in the third on Bobby Abreu's RBI double.

Jed Lowrie (2 hits) had the play of the game as he put Boston ahead 2-1 in the seventh with a two-run double over Juan Rivera in left field.

Adrian Beltre made it 3-1 in the eighth with a crucial RBI double.

Abreu got Los Angeles back to 3-2 with a solo homer off Lackey but from there, Daniel Bard got the final two outs of the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon got a 1-2-3 ninth on nine pitches for his 24th save of the season.

Marco Scutaro (3 hits, 2 runs) scored in the ninth after an error by Howie Kendrick. Darnell McDonald (2 hits, walk, run) also had a fine night at the plate, especially considering he was a last-minute replacement for J.D. Drew, who had a strained hamstring.

Josh Beckett takes on Joel Pineiro this afternoon as the Sox try to sweep the Angels, improve to 7-0 against them this season and end this trip 6-4 (which is much better than you could have imagined a few days back).

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