Lackey subpar in first victory of season

April, 8, 2011
4/08/11
8:24
PM ET
BOSTON -- Red Sox pitcher John Lackey can thank his offense and bullpen for his first victory of the 2011 season.

The right-hander allowed six runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts over five innings, but Boston’s offense carried the load and its bullpen put up a bunch of zeros en route to a 9-6 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday afternoon at Fenway Park.

[+] EnlargeJohn Lackey
AP Photo/Tony DejakJohn Lackey didn't have the best outing Friday, but his team helped him get the win.
“He certainly didn’t locate like he needs to,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of Lackey. “A lot of his pitches didn’t look like he finished them; he left them in the middle. Against that lineup, you’ve got to make them earn everything they get because they’re that good, anyway. Fortunately, we swung the bats well enough and our bullpen held on.”

Alfredo Aceves, Bobby Jenks, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon kept the Yankees at bay after Lackey exited.

“Lack did a phenomenal job,” said Papelbon. “He went out there and had some situations to get out of and he did it. He stood in there and fought as long as he could to get to us in the bullpen. We take pride in holding those games for our starters.”

Lackey admitted after the win that it wasn’t his best outing.

“Today, I obviously didn’t pitch very well,” he said. “I hung in there long enough, I guess.”

Francona mentioned that it was good to see Lackey fight through his struggles and at least get through five innings because if the manager needed to go to his bullpen sooner, the outcome could have been different.

Lackey didn’t see it that way.

“I don’t set my goals that low,” he said of finishing only five innings. “I definitely want to do better than that. The guys swung the bat great and the bullpen was tremendous. We won the game, so it worked out. It wasn’t pretty, but it’s closer.”

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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