Getting the start tonight, John Lackey’s evening started out looking a lot like the start he had against the Tampa Bay Rays just after the All-Star break. That time it was Marco Scutaro making three blunders in the first inning to cost Lackey upwards of four outs, leading to a three-run first. This time it was Yamaico Navarro letting an easily catchable ball bounce off the very bottom of the Monster and Kevin Youkilis booting a routine ground ball to put the first two batters of the game on base.
Lackey would strike Billy Butler out—it was looking like he’d have to to get an out, after all—but what came next wasn’t the fault of the defense. Facing Eric Hosmer, who should have been the first batter of the second inning, Lackey allowed a three-run shot into the Monster seats to give the Royals the early lead.
The Sox wasted no time chipping away at the lead, however. On the second pitch of the game, Jacoby Ellsbury rocketed a line drive off the Pesky Pole for a leadoff home-run. Dustin Pedroia quickly followed suit, launching a 2-2 fastball well over the Monster to make it 3-2.
With Lackey settling down behind them, the Sox started up the scoring again in the second. Boston loaded the bases on a walk, single, and perfectly-placed pop fly, and scored all three baserunners on Ellsbury’s walk, Pedroia’s sacrifice fly, and Adrian Gonzalez’ ground out.