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.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Rob Gronkowski's meeting with the media on Friday. Gronk said he doesn't anticipate changing the way he plays, noting that he wants to "keep smashing and dashing."
Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.
We return to our weekly segments with the one and only Peter King of MMQB and NBC's Football Night in America.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to discuss David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia's struggles, and Jon Lester's contract.
Texas Rangers General Manager, Jon Daniels, joins Rob Bradford and Alex Speier to discuss the upcoming trade deadline.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
Kirk breaks down the media criticism he has received.
The stories of the day brought to you by Kirk Minihane
Dino, Meter and Kirk discuss the light punishment given to Ray Rice by the NFL.
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to talk about David Ortiz, the struggles of Dustin Pedroia, and the Jon Lester contract.
Patriots Wide Receiver Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.
Given the recent Ray Rice suspension, many people are comparing it to Josh Gordon getting suspended for repeated drug abuse. Tim Benz doesn't think this is a fair comparison. He explains why.
We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.
We discuss the suspension of Ray Rice, and how the act he committed certainly seemed like it warranted a harsher penalty from the strict front office of Roger Goodell.
We tackle four topics, all sparked by our interest in the story about the Browns fan peeing on Art Modell's grave this past week.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Mut and Villani are talking about the MLB All Star Game, Adam Wainwright and Derek Jeter, and what are some of the worst ideas in sports.
With the trade deadline looming, the next few days will be defined by how teams value prospects -- and their potential long-term contributions -- against big leaguers with established track records who can address immediate needs. Are prospects being valued accurately? Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller -- once one of the two key chips that sent Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins to the Tigers -- assesses the matter.
A compelling case can be made that July 24, 2004, represents as significant a landmark as any date in modern Red Sox history. On that day, a memorable brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees served as a catalyst for an epic 10-9 walkoff victory for the Red Sox over New York and indomitable closer Mariano Rivera, a game cited by many members of the 2004 team as pivotal in Boston's first championship run in 86 years. Ian Browne, who covers the Red Sox for MLB.com and authored Idiots Revisited, discusses the landmark game.
With Training Camp starting this Thursday and the August Draft Season inching closer, Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are ramping up the Fantasy Football content to meet the demand! Today’s podcast gives an in depth look at Pete’s Top 50 Wide Receivers Article that is LIVE on WEEI.com right now. Pete breaks down the receivers by Tiers and the podcast gives full analysis of those Tiers and the players who occupy these spots and why. Get prepared for your drafts and enjoy!
We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.More from this show
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to talk about David Ortiz, the struggles of Dustin Pedroia, and the Jon Lester contract.More from this show