Friday, April 18, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Orioles 8, Red Sox 4
By Tony Lee | Special to ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- John Lackey was one of the few sure things for the Boston Red Sox during their early struggles, but there is now a shred of uncertainty following another rocky performance for the right-hander in an 8-4 loss to Baltimore on Friday night.
Lackey, who served up four home runs in his prior start in New York, was reached for six runs on 10 hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings in this one. He has given up six runs in consecutive games for the first time since May 5 and 11, 2011, and has surrendered at least 10 hits in consecutive starts for the first time since June 10 and 15, 2009.
The big righty did not walk a batter in the loss to the Yankees and he kept the ball in the yard in this one, but that's about the only positives we can dig up. He'll try to rebound against the Yankees at home next week.
That was quick: A press box announcement always follows the first pitch of the game, detailing the exact time of the delivery and the weather conditions. Lackey's first offering came in at 7:11 p.m., according to the announcement, and it was laced into the left-field corner for a double by Nick Markakis. The second pitch wasn't released until about 7:15, as manager John Farrell challenged whether the ball was fair.
The review lasted 2 minutes, 56 seconds before the call stood. Farrell hasn't been getting much love from the replay system, and this was no different. Markakis eventually scored the game's first run and Lackey was forced to wait around for several minutes before delivering his second pitch.
Redemption: Farrell finally found some satisfaction with replay in the eighth, successfully getting a reversal on an out call at first on Brock Holt. It actually received one of the biggest cheers all night, after the review took just over a minute.
Bradley's bullet: Word has to be getting around the league as to how powerful Jackie Bradley Jr.'s arm is.
Bradley, who has one outfield assist this season, had a chance to show off in the third. With Markakis on second and nobody out, Delmon Young lifted a medium-depth fly to center that sent Bradley a few steps to his left. He camped under it and threw a perfect strike to third base that elicited an appreciative roar as Markakis bluffed and retreated.
If at first you don't succeed: Brock Holt's first at-bat of the season came with the bases loaded in the second and resulted in a strikeout. His second came with two on in the fourth and resulted in a base hit that scored Boston's first run. Holt battled Orioles starter Chris Tillman for 10 pitches before smacking one up the middle, part of a two-hit night for Holt in his 2014 debut with Boston.
Keep Carp? The battle for a roster spot when Shane Victorino returns might come down to Mike Carp and Daniel Nava. While Nava continues to struggle, Carp is making the most of his opportunities. He singled in his first at-bat and doubled in his second to make it four straight plate appearances reaching base (3-for-3, BB).
Carp's candidacy is hurt by the fact that his defense in the outfield is not stellar. The organization values that at this level, and while Nava is no Dwight Evans, he does provide some flexibility and is steadier overall with the glove.
Speaking of Victorino: He is scheduled to begin a rehab stint with Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday. The plan is for Victorino to play again Monday and Tuesday, after which he will be re-evaluated.
Up next: The Sox send Felix Doubront (1-2, 6.75 ERA) to the mound opposite Bud Norris (0-1, 3.75) in a 1:35 p.m. affair Saturday.