FORT MYERS, Fla. — John Lackey worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, allowing one run in 20 pitches, while Jose Iglesias hit a two-run homer over the Monster as the Red Sox fell to the Rays, 4-3, Saturday afternoon at JetBlue Park in the Grapefruit League opener for both clubs. Xander Bogaerts, in his final at-bat before leaving for the WBC, singled home a run in the ninth to make it close. Daniel Nava struck out looking with the tying run on base to end the game before a sellout crowd of 9,680 at JetBlue Park.
Lackey was making his first outing since Sept. 25, 2011 and his first since Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
He allowed one run, one hit, walked one, struck out one and a hit a batter as the Rays managed just one run after loading the bases with none out in the first.
Ryan Roberts drove in the game’s first run with a sacrifice fly to right off Lackey, scoring Ben Zobrist. The Rays added another in the third as Jarrod Saltalamacchia had an inning to forget. He dropped a foul pop that extended the at-bat of Jack Cust. On the next pitch, Desmond Jennings stole third and Saltalamacchia’s throw sailed into left field, allowing Jennings to score, making it 2-0.
The Red Sox went quietly in the first six innings before Jeremy Hazelbaker walked with one out. Iglesias followed by driving a first-pitch fastball over the Monster in left for Boston’s first homer of the spring, tying the game, 2-2.
The Rays got those two runs back in the eighth when Leslie Anderson drilled a two-run homer to right off Red Sox righty Oscar Villarreal (0-1) with two outs.
Saltalamacchia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Hazelbaker had doubles as extra-base hits accounted for four of Boston’s seven hits on the day.
The Red Sox return to action across the state on Sunday as they take on the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter at 1:05 p.m. as lefty Jon Lester makes his spring debut. Boston plays split-squad games on Monday with Steven Wright starting against Toronto in Dunedin at 1:05 p.m. and Alfredo Aceves starting against Tampa Bay in Port Charlotte at 1:05 p.m.
POST-GAME NOTES from John Farrell:
On the homer from Iglesias: “Wish there were a couple more like it. As we have commented on him as camp has unfolded, he’s a little bit more upright, a little more free in his overall swing. He got a fastball up in the zone and did what he’s capable of doing. I think more than anything, it’s just the freeness and aggressiveness of the swing.”
On Xander Bogaerts, RBI single, nice defensive play in rundown: “A good heads up play on the rundown we executed. He’s got a good swing through the zone and like I said the other day, he’s a bright-looking young player. He’s heady. He’s got field awareness. Good things are ahead for him.”
On Daniel Nava first base defense: “As we’ve seen in the work, that wasn’t an easy play on that ground ball by [Ben] Zobrist. He looks fine over there for right now. The little things, even on the errant throw [by Iglesias] that you see the footwork where he adjusted on the bag, some things that are more instinctual. To have him step in and the last time he played first base was in junior college, and he’s handled it well.”
On Clay Buchholz 37-pitch simulated game: “He’ll have a side on Monday and then he’s set to go Tuesday or Wednesday. It’s yet to be determined. We’ll fit that into how it starts to plan out for the start of the regular season. He’s gradually ramping up the intensity [on fielding], not only just with field tests as far as straight-ahead running or any kind of cuts, but in time, that’ll take its place. We want to prioritize the work he does on the mound right now.”
For more, visit the Red Sox team page at weei.com/redsox.
We check in with Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater on a Patriots Monday as the Patriots prepare for their fourth pre-season game, and are 10 days away from opening the 2015 season.
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Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
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Butch and John are talking Red Sox on the Sunday Sports Roundtable. They get into the current state of the rotation and how things have improved as of late. Joe Kelly has been on fire, but is he a trade asset? The guys discuss the starting pitchers that will be free agents this year and if any are good fits in Boston. Then they move on to the decision to let Orsillo go in favor of Dave O'Brien - Tomase has an interesting perspective on this topic.
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Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Schilling emailed Awful Announcing.
Florio gave us the latest on Brady vs Goodell.
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Lou, Christian and Gary (and the rest of us) are all patiently waiting for Judge Berman to decide Tom Brady's future. The guys wonder.... What is he waiting for?
Jay Feely explains why he was in court with Tom Brady on Monday, and what was said in the robing room with Judge Berman.
Tyler Seguin was partying all summer in Toronto. Former Toronto Maple Leafs CEO Richard Peddie tattled on him. Also, Marshawn Lynch continues to be awkward, as he sells Skittles on cable TV.
We discuss the latest from Judge Berman in the deflategate case, and what it might mean.
We close out the Dale and Holley program with some of the best sound of the day that you may have missed.
We discuss the NFL's insistence and inconsistency when they continue to rely on the term 'integrity' throughout this deflategate process.
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Chris Villani and Lenny Megs talk with Bob McGovern about the proceedings in the Tom Brady and NFL's deflate gate court case.
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