FORT MYERS, Fla. — Boston starter John Lackey gave up two hits in four innings before the New York Mets rallied with four runs in the eighth for a 4-2 win over the Red Sox on Wednesday.
Lackey struck out two and walked none. In nine combined innings this spring, Lackey has not allowed a run — earned or unearned — or issued a walk. He has given up just five hits.
“I’m throwing the ball pretty well,” said Lackey, who threw 28 of his 39 pitches for strikes. “But honestly I’d probably like to maybe give up a couple runs. Don’t want to bring them all north with me.”
Red Sox manager Terry Francona is pleased with Lackey’s performances this spring.
“First-pitch strikes; that was fun to watch,” Francona said. “Let them put it in play. Threw his breaking ball for strikes. He threw everything for strikes, down in the zone. Runner defense worked. It was fun to watch.
Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey nearly matched Lackey’s outing, going four innings, giving up one run on four hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
“I thought it was a real positive outing,” Pelfrey said. “I located the fastball. I didn’t get a lot of ground balls, but the sinker started sinking again. That’s a good sign.”
Pelfrey, who threw 66 pitches, 44 for strikes, is developing confidence in his secondary pitches.
“I feel good,” he said. “I think the thing about it is I’m able to throw (the splitter) for a strike. I feel like I can throw it at any time, which is good.”
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead into the eighth, but New York’s Fernando Martinez hit his third home run of the season, a three-run shot off Ramon S. Ramirez. Ramirez gave up four runs on two hits and three walks without recording an out.
Elmer Dessens pitched a scoreless ninth for the Mets.
NOTES: Red Sox RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka threw batting practice Wednesday for the first time this spring after being slowed by back and neck ailments. Matsuzaka spent a total of 107 games on the disabled list last season with a mild right shoulder strain. … The Red Sox announced Wednesday that infielder Jed Lowrie, who had not played since March 11 as he battled fatigue symptoms, has been diagnosed with mononucleosis. Lowrie was Boston’s Opening Day shortstop last season but was limited to 32 games, battling the lingering effects of a wrist injury.
Phillies 6, Yankees 2
CLEARWATER, Fla. — Jayson Werth hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning to break open a tie game, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the New York Yankees 6-2 on Wednesday.
Werth, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard all finished 2 for 3 and combined for three runs and four RBIs.
Right-hander Joe Blanton lowered his spring ERA to 4.09 by holding the Yankees to two earned runs in five innings. Blanton struck out three and walked none.
Andy Pettitte, making his Grapefruit League debut, surrendered two runs on five hits in four innings. Rollins doubled off Pettitte to begin the first inning and came around to score on a two-out, opposite field single from Howard.
Braves 4, Marlins 2
JUPITER, Fla. — Tommy Hanson allowed one run on six hits in five innings, the longest outing of the spring for Atlanta’s projected No. 3 starter.
Hanson gave up a leadoff single in the first inning to Chris Coghlan, who was bunted to second before scoring on Hanley Ramirez’s single. Hanson has given up two runs in 9 1-3 innings with one walk and 10 strikeouts in three games this spring.
Rays 5, Twins 2
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Sean Rodriguez had two hits and scored twice, and Justin Ruggiano hit a two-run triple for Tampa Bay.
Luke Hughes, who had three straight extra-base hits for the Twins, homered in the fifth inning off Rays starter James Shields. It was the only run in five innings off Shields, who has been named Tampa Bay’s Opening Day starter.
Blue Jays 4, Orioles 1
SARASOTA, Fla. — Brian Tallet tossed four scoreless, allowing only a leadoff single to Cesar Izturis in the first inning before retiring the next 12 batters he faced.
Orioles starter Jason Berken allowed three runs in the third inning. Alex Gonzalez singled and scored when right fielder Nick Markakis overran the ball on Jeremy Reed’s single. Brian Dopirak lifted a sacrifice fly, and Brad Emaus added an RBI single.
Travis Snider homered off Orioles reliever Kam Mickolio in the fifth.
Astros 11, Nationals 2
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Jason Marquis allowed eight runs on eight hits and walked four over 3 1-3 innings in his second start of the spring for Washington.
Wandy Rodriguez had a solid third outing for the Astros, allowing two runs while striking out seven over four innings.
The top three in Houston’s lineup — Michael Bourn, Kaz Matsui and Hunter Pence — combined to go 5 for 6 with six runs scored, three walks and two RBI.
Tigers 6, Pirates 3
BRADENTON, Fla. — Kevin Hart walked six of the 12 batters he faced, failing to make it out of the second inning against Detroit.
Hart threw 53 pitches, only 19 for strikes, and reached three-ball counts on nine batters — even hitting Ramon Santiago with a 3-0 pitch. In four outings this spring, Hart has pitched 4 2-3 innings and walked 13 of the 30 batters he’s faced.
Tigers left-hander Nate Robertson worked four innings and allowed two runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out three.