BOSTON -- After personally losing four out of his last five starts, and the Red Sox losing three straight games overall, Saturday's start was a big one for John Lackey. The right-hander came through and earned his first win since July 12 in the Red Sox' 6-1 win over the Yankees at Fenway Park.
Lackey went 6 2/3 innings allowing one run on six hits, while striking out just one in leading the Sox to victory. He had command of all of his pitches and got 14 ground ball outs compared to only two fly ball outs. Craig Breslow recorded the final out in the seventh and the first out in the eighth before Junichi Tazawa came on for the final two outs in the eighth and Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless ninth to close out the win.
"He set the tone for us particularly in the fifth inning, scoring the three runs and he is in the first and second situation and no outs and really minimized the damage," manager John Farrell said of Lackey. "In brief to describe, he set the tone for us from the mound today, which we needed."
The Red Sox scored three times in the fourth inning, which would be all the runs Lackey would need. David Ortiz doubled and Mike Carp singled to start the inning and then Lyle Overbay made a poor throw to second on a Stephen Drew grounder which allowed Ortiz to score and Drew to reach. Will Middlebrooks and Jacoby Ellsbury then had back-to-back RBI singles to give the Sox a 3-0 lead.
The Sox scored two more in the sixth on an RBI single from Jarrod Saltalamacchia and then an RBI double from Ellsbury. David Ortiz hit a solo homer in the seventh for the sixth and final Red Sox run. Ellsbury led the offense with three hits, while Shane Victorino, Carp, Ortiz, Nava and Middlebrooks each had two hits in the 14-hit attack.
The three-game set will conclude tomorrow night (8:05, ESPN) where Ryan Dempster will be opposed by CC Sabathia.
What they'll be saying: With the win the Red Sox are still the only team in all of baseball not to lose four straight games all season, which speaks to the depth of their roster. The Red Sox improved to 7-4 against the Yankees this year ... As mentioned, it was a big start for Lackey as he recorded his first win in over a month. He now has a 2.07 ERA in nine starts at home this season and has allowed two runs or less in eight of his 12 starts overall since June 15 ... Middlebrooks has played well since his recall last week as he has hit safely in all seven games and is hitting .435 (10-for-23) in that stretch.