The Red Sox were stymied by Blue Jays pitching as they could only muster two hits in their 5-0 loss to Toronto Saturday afternoon. The big story coming out of the game was an injury to Sox starter John Lackey, who was making his first start since coming off Tommy John surgery.
After throwing a pitch with one out in the fourth inning, which bounced well in front of the plate and went to the backstop, Lackey immediately grabbed his right bicep as manager John Farrell and trainer Rick Jameyson rushed to the mound. Lackey was pulled from the game right then.
Lackey may have suffered the injury on the pitch before as it appeared he felt some discomfort and stretched his arm out before delivering the next pitch. The first thought was that he injured the elbow he just had surgery on, but the team announced during the game that it was a right bicep strain.
The right-hander was pitching quite well before the injury, allowing two runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings while striking out eight.
“A strained right bicep,” Farrell told reporters in Toronto. “He felt a cramping sensation, obviously we took him out immediately. Once he was in the clubhouse he iced it down and the cramping went away. Strength tests, at least in the training room were positive in terms of full strength, but we’re going to get him back [to Boston] and get a full exam likely tomorrow.”
Alfredo Aceves pitched the remainder of the game, allowing three runs, all coming on a three-run home run from Colby Rasmus in the sixth.
J.A. Happ got the win for Toronto, dominating the Red Sox, throwing 5 1/3 scoreless innings and only allowing just one hit.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with a double, but then the Red Sox did not record a hit until an infield single from Dustin Pedroia in the ninth.
Jon Lester will take to the hill in Sunday’s series finale (1:07 p.m., NESN) and will be opposed by reigning National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey.
What they’ll be saying: Obviously all attention is now focused on the severity of the injury to Lackey. Coming off Tommy John surgery and missing all of last season, he worked so hard to get back on the field, so it was very unfortunate to see him have to leave the game like he did. The Red Sox don’t have much depth to their starting rotation, so they cannot afford to lose Lackey for any extended period of time. … After going 2-for-19 with runners in scoring position Friday night, they were 0-for-5 in Saturday’s game. With not much power in their lineup, they are going to need to start taking advantage of runners in scoring position.
Follow Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84.