John Lackey vs. James Shields.
I thought this was going to get ugly fast. And it did.
But it got really ugly for the Rays.
Lackey surrendered three runs in the first, and it made me glad I wasn't watching it. (The game wasn't shown in New York, thanks to Fox.) I followed it online, and heard that Lackey showed up Marco Scutaro by throwing his arms in the air when Scutaro made an error. So not only was Lackey stealing the Red Sox money, but he was acting really unprofessional on the mound. Beautiful.
But the game got uglier for Shields. The alleged "Big Game" pitcher (can you name one he's ever pitched?) got whacked, as the Sox scored two in the second on Josh Reddick's blast and three more in the third.
Lackey, on the other hand, settled down after getting out of a bases loaded, one out trouble in the second. He went 5 2/3, allowing three earned runs while striking out seven. And he was angry with Terry Francona when he was taken out in the sixth as well.
This guy is impossible to root for. And we're stuck with him for the next 3+ years.
The Red Sox went on to win, 9-5. New York's win in Toronto keeps the Red Sox at 1 1/2 games back. The series finale will be played tonight, as it was hijacked by ESPN. Josh Beckett takes the mound, and his last effort in St. Pete was a one-hitter earlier this year.
The Sox put Bobby Jenks on the DL for the third time this season with back problems. He's been a terrific pickup, eh? They recalled lefty Randy Williams from Pawtucket to take his place.