FORT MYERS, Fla. — The last time John Lackey threw a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals, it was Oct. 30, 2013 at Fenway Park.
Maybe you remember that night?
Lackey gave up one run in 62/3 innings in a 6-1 World Series-clinching victory.
On Monday, Lackey looked more in spring training mode than postseason form. He allowed five runs on six hits and two walks over five innings, in Boston’s 10-5 win over St. Louis.
“I’m just getting my work in,” said Lackey after only his second start this spring. “Felt fine. Came out of it healthy and (I’ll) keep moving.”
Because of a five-run fifth-inning by the Red Sox, Lackey actually picked up the win.
“Some guys get all the runs,” teased fellow starter Jake Peavy back in the clubhouse.
While Lackey was not concerned about his outing, neither was his manager.
“He was up in the zone more than what we typically see of John. That’s all part of spring training,” John Farrell said. “A good day’s work.”
Farrell was especially encouraged about his offense. There was the obviously feel-good story of Grady Sizemore and his three hits. But there was also Dustin Pedroia, who was 2 for 4 with a home run, and Mike Napoli, who cleared the park with his blast over the left-field Monster and seats.
“We’re starting to see their timing a little more refined,” Farrell said.
The rest of the pitching was solid. Edward Mujica (the former Cardinal), Rubby De La Rosa, Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa finished off the game, with only De La Rosa allowing a hit.
Both Uehara and Tazawa, of course, had pitched in that Oct. 30 game last year, as well. All that was missing for a complete reunion was Brandon Workman, who is pitching Tuesday.
Defensively, Sizemore stole the show with two leaping grabs, one off the center-field wall in the first inning, and a near-vertical dive in the seventh.
“That was fun to watch,” outfielder Daniel Nava said.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts also made a gem, backhanding a grounder in the hole between short and third, and throwing out Shane Robinson.
“Very encouraging,” Farrell said. “Above-average runner. Backhand play. The transfer and the arm strength. He’s looked very good at short.”
Overall, the Red Sox looked good.
“We got two weeks and a lot of work to do,” Farrell said. But “it feels like things are starting to come together.”
NOTES: The Red Sox make their annual trip to Tampa Tuesday to play the Yankees but former Boston center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is not expected to play because of a tight right calf … Felix Doubront is scheduled to start … Boston made three more cuts Monday, sending pitcher Allen Webster and catcher Christian Vazquez to Triple-A Pawtucket, and shortstop Deven Marrero to minor-league camp, where he is expected to join the Portland Sea Dogs. “In each case, they showed very well, and they are not that far from the big leagues,” Farrell said.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at:[email protected]