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Sunday, April 3, 2011

John Lackey is hopeless

Oh John Lackey, you make it too easy.

While the rest of the United States was captivated by the NCAA basketball men's Final Four (count me among them), the Boston Red Sox were getting smoked by the Texas Rangers last night.

Every Ranger had a hit (15 total) as Texas (2-0) rolled to a 12-5 win over Boston (0-2) at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

As I predicted, this one wasn't a pitcher's duel. Well at least Colby Lewis showed up (6 innings, 6 hits, 3 earned runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts). Lackey (3.2 innings, 10 hits, 9 earned runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts) couldn't make it out of the fourth inning. Yikes.

It's only a matter of time before Lackey is moved to third or even fourth in the rotation, assuming that Josh Beckett is a shell of his former self. Nobody not named Lackey can honestly believe he's a No. 2 starter on an AL East team and a World Series contender.

Ian Kinsler had a leadoff homer for the second straight game but David Ortiz answered with a two-run bomb, his second of the season, in the second inning for a 2-1 Boston lead.

That's when the wheels started to fall off for Lackey and the Red Sox. Elvis Andrus (3 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) had an RBI triple in the third and Josh Hamilton (2 hits, stolen base) added an RBI single.

Ortiz tied it at 3 with an RBI groundout in the fourth but Texas exploded with six runs in the fourth. Julio Borbon (2 hits) had an RBI triple and Andrus had an RBI double. Former Red Sox Adrian Beltre took any intrigue out of this one with a grand slam off Lackey.

All that was left was to pad the stats for the Rangers as Yorvit Torrealba took Dan Wheeler deep (two-run homer in the fifth) and Nelson Cruz hit a solo homer off Tim Wakefield in the sixth.

The only other highlight for Boston was Jacoby Ellsbury's two-run homer in the seventh.

The Red Sox will try to avoid the sweep and an unsightly 0-3 start this afternoon as Clay Buchholz faces Matt Harrison. That matchup clearly favors Boston so Buchholz needs to settle down his team and quiet the Rangers' potent lineup.

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