Red Sox drop exhibition opener
Boston starting pitcher John Lackey made his return to the mound from Tommy John surgery and surrendered one run in one inning of work as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Red Sox, 4-3, in opening Grapefruit League action at Jet Blue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., Saturday.
Lackey walked Ben Zobrist and gave up a single to Desmond Jennings before striking Matt Joyce with a pitch to load the bases. After striking out Jack Cust, Ryan Roberts hit a long sacrifice fly to right field to plate Zobrist.
Lackey threw 20 pitches in his brief stint, 10 for strikes.
After the game, Lackey reported that he pitched without some pain for the first time in years.
Boston was shut out by Rays pitching until the eighth when Jose Iglesias hit a two-run home run. The blast scored Jeremy Hazelbaker who had drawn an earlier base on balls.
The Red Sox tallied their final run in the ninth. Hazelbaker hit a one-out double and scored on a two-out single by Xander Bogaerts.
Tampa Bay went ahead 2-0 in the third when Jennings doubled, stole third and scored on Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia's overthrow into left field.
The Rays completed their scoring in the eighth when Red Sox reliever Oscar Villareal allowed a two-run homer to Lesliie Anderson.
The Red Sox meet the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.