And two days after the pomp and hoopla of the opening of the newest ballpark in the big leagues, Boston's John Lackey and Minnesota's Kevin Slowey will be all business after each pitching well in their 2010 debuts.
Lackey signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal in the offseason, leaving the Angels for the AL East. And in his first start, against the Yankees at Fenway Park last week, he pitched brilliantly, giving up only three hits in six scoreless innings to dazzle his new home crowd. The Red Sox ultimately fell, 3-1, in 10 innings, but a good impression was made.
"As a starter, your job is to give your team a chance to win," Lackey said. "I felt like I did that. After that, you just want a team win. Getting a win is nice, but it's not a huge goal of mine. I want the team's success more than anything."
Slowey accomplished what Lackey couldn't in his first outing, getting a win by holding the Angels to one run on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings, while showing no signs that his surgically repaired right wrist might hamper him this season.
Slowey, who went 10-3 for the Twins last year, worked his way in and out of trouble and said he had room to improve.
"It was a bit of a battle for me," Slowey said. "I would be consistent for two or three batters in a row and kind of get out of rhythm and fight to get back to it. Certainly the most important thing is we won. ... Hopefully my next start will be a little more consistent and it won't feel like I'm fighting myself as much."
Red Sox: Ellsbury to be back Wednesday?
Left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who suffered sore left ribs in a collision with third baseman Adrian Beltre on Sunday in Kansas City, said he felt "pretty good" and might be back in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Twins. ... This will be Lackey's first road start in a Boston uniform. In his career on the road, Lackey is 53-39 with a 3.91 ERA. Lackey has been almost equally successful against righties (.255 average) and lefties (.269) in his career. Lifetime against the Twins, he is 6-5 with a 3.75 ERA.
Twins: Outdoor ball triumphantly returns
Keep track of these for future reference: The Twins played their first official game at Target Field, marking the first time since 1981 that the club played a home game outdoors. Minnesota played in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis from 1982-2009 and in Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minn., from 1961-1981. ... Minnesota is 4-1 in its past five home openers. ... Joe Mauer collected his team-leading fourth and fifth doubles, giving him four in his past two games. The reigning AL MVP has hit safely in seven of eight games and driven in a run in four of those eight. ... Slowey is 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA in two career starts vs. Boston.
Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz has struck out 11 times this season and 10 times in his past 16 plate appearances. ... Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro recorded the first hit in Target Field history, a single in the first inning. The ball hit by Scutaro will be donated to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. ... Jon Rauch saved his fifth game and is now 5-for-5 in save opportunities on the season. ... The paid attendance at Monday's game was 38,145 (sellout) with an additional 1,570 complimentary tickets given out, making the total for the first game at Target Field 39,715.
Wed, 4/14 1:10 PM ET
Red Sox's offense not lacking vs. Twins
John Lackey, who allowed just two runs over 6 2/3 innings, picked up his first victory in a Red Sox uniform, as Dustin Pedroia belted his fourth homer and Jeremy Hermida delivered a three-run double in the eighth inning.
Red Sox Beat
|Martinez, V, C||5||0||2||0||0||0||1||.229|
|Beltre, A, 3B||5||1||1||0||0||0||4||.345|
|Drew, J, RF||2||2||0||0||2||2||0||.167|
|Hudson, O, 2B||5||0||1||1||0||1||4||.225|
|Young, D, LF||4||1||3||0||0||0||1||.346|
2B: Pedroia (3, Slowey), Beltre, A (2, Crain), Hermida (3, Crain), Ortiz (3, Burnett, Al).
HR: Pedroia (4, 5th inning off Slowey, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: Scutaro 2; Hermida 2; Ortiz 2; Beltre, A 2; Pedroia 6; Youkilis; Martinez, V 2.
RBI: Pedroia 2 (10), Scutaro (2), Hermida 3 (6).
2-out RBI: Scutaro; Pedroia; Hermida 3.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Beltre, A 3; Ortiz; Scutaro.
Team RISP: 2-for-11.
Team LOB: 9.
CS: Ortiz (1, 2nd base by Slowey/Mauer).
PB: Martinez, V (1).
DP: 2 (Lackey-Scutaro-Youkilis, Youkilis-Scutaro).
2B: Young, D 2 (2, Lackey, Bard).
HR: Cuddyer (1, 8th inning off Bard, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Cuddyer 5; Young, D 5; Hudson, O; Punto; Morneau; Mauer.
RBI: Hudson, O (1), Mauer (7), Cuddyer (3).
2-out RBI: Hudson, O; Mauer.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Morneau 3; Punto; Thome; Cuddyer 2.
GIDP: Hudson, O, Kubel.
Team RISP: 2-for-13.
Team LOB: 11.
IBB: Drew, J (by Crain), Mauer (by Okajima).
Pitches-strikes: Lackey 107-64, Okajima 6-1, Bard 12-8, Papelbon 20-9, Slowey 98-58, Neshek 36-25, Crain 22-12, Burnett, Al 25-17.
Groundouts-flyouts: Lackey 5-7, Okajima 0-0, Bard 1-1, Papelbon 0-3, Slowey 4-3, Neshek 3-1, Crain 0-1, Burnett, Al 1-1.
Batters faced: Lackey 29, Okajima 2, Bard 5, Papelbon 5, Slowey 23, Neshek 7, Crain 6, Burnett, Al 6.
Inherited runners-scored: Okajima 2-0, Burnett, Al 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Mark Wegner. 1B: Tim Tschida. 2B: Kerwin Danley. 3B: Jeff Nelson.
Weather: 73 degrees, overcast.
Wind: 17 mph, Out to LF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media