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Friday, May 6, 2011

Nothing like John Lackey getting shelled in a game that he has to give the Red Sox innings

Let me be upfront with the fact that I was never excited about having John Lackey on the Boston Red Sox. I thought he was an overrated product of the AL West that wouldn't do anything in the AL East.

It's not like most fans didn't have these same feelings but who could have expected him to be this much of a disaster?

Yesterday he had one task: give the Red Sox innings since they had lost to the Los Angeles Angels in 13 innings on Wednesday night in a game that ended at 2:45 a.m. Making matters worse, they had an afternoon game for the series finale.

Lackey (4 innings, 10 hits, 8 earned runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout) got completely shelled as the Angels (18-14) won their second straight at Fenway Park, 11-0, and left on a good note.

For the Red Sox (14-17), it capped off a bitter mini-stretch as they lost a brutal contest that took forever and then got blown out.

Los Angeles put up 18 hits in this laugher. Former Red Sox pseudo closer Joel Pineiro (1-0) went 5.2 innings, giving up three hits, four walks and two strikeouts in the easy win.

Erick Aybar led the Angels with four hits, two runs, two stolen bases and an RBI. Peter Bourjos had four runs and three hits while Howie Kendrick put up three hits, two RBIs, a stolen base and a run. If that wasn't enough, Bobby Abreu had three RBIs and two hits with Alberto Callaspo adding two hits and two RBIs.

David Ortiz (3 hits, walk) was the only positive for Boston's neutered lineup that put up three runs in the last 22 innings against the Angels.

Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler were sent to the DL with fake injuries. Rich Hill and Scott Atchison took the Pawtucket shuttle and both made appearances in yesterday's debacle. Atchison was knocked around for seven hits and three earned runs in 3.2 innings but Hill threw 1.1 scoreless innings with two strikeouts.

Lackey's day was over quickly as he gave up three runs in the third, three in the fourth and two in the fifth before Terry Francona mercifully gave him the hook.

Kendrick had an RBI groundout in the third, followed by Callaspo's two-run single. Kendrick, Abreu and Torii Hunter all had RBI singles in the fourth. Then Mark Trumbo hit a two-run bomb off Lackey. Aybar's infield single made it 9-0 against Atchison and Abreu closed out this nightmare with a two-run double in the seventh.

The good news is that the Minnesota Twins limp (six players including Joe Mauer on the DL) into Boston with a four-game series starting tonight. Tim Wakefield gets the spot start since Dice-K pitched in the 13 inning game (he'll start on Sunday) and Scott Baker takes the ball for the Twins.

Nobody will be paying attention since the Bruins are one win away from the Eastern Conference finals (a place they haven't been in 19 years) and the Boston Celtics are fighting for their playoff lives tomorrow night but the Red Sox need to wake up this weekend against a team that's playing even worse than them.

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