|AL ERA champ Lackey has more trouble at Fenway Park, losing Game 1 of ALDS|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 03 October 2007 15:18|
AP Photo BXS128
By HOWARD ULMAN
AP Sports Writer
BOSTON (AP) -By the time John Lackey pitched well at Fenway Park, it was too late.
The American League ERA champion allowed four runs over the first three innings Wednesday night then gave up just one hit in the next three.
The result, though, was all too familiar: Another loss in Boston as the Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-0 in the opener of the AL division series.
Lackey was 19-9 with a 3.01 ERA this season. He already had made postseason history when he became the first rookie since 1909 to win Game 7 of a World Series in 2002 against the San Francisco Giants.
But put him against the Red Sox and he's a different pitcher.
His loss Wednesday dropped his career record against Boston to 1-7. At Fenway Park, he is 1-5.
This season, he was 0-2 with an 8.38 ERA in two appearances against Boston, both at Fenway. Take those games away and he was 19-7 for the season with a 2.77 ERA.
Even a strong performance might not have been enough to beat Boston's Josh Beckett, the only major league pitcher with more wins than Lackey this season. The Angels managed just four singles as Beckett pitched his second straight postseason shutout. The first was in Game 7 of the 2003 World Series with Florida against the New York Yankees.
Lackey had a rough start Wednesday.
After retiring leadoff man Dustin Pedroia on a groundout, Lackey gave up a homer to Kevin Youkilis, the first postseason hit of his career. Singles by David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez put runners at first and second, but Lackey escaped when he retired Mike Lowell on an infield pop-up and J.D. Drew on a grounder.
Lackey allowed two more hits in the third - singles by Jason Varitek and Julio Lugo - but Coco Crisp hit into a double play and Lugo was caught stealing.
The right-hander got the Red Sox to hit into another double play in the third, but that ended an inning in which Boston already had scored three runs to take a 4-0 lead.
Lackey retired Pedroia leading off then was hurt again by Youkilis, who doubled. Ortiz followed with a two-run homer to right, his ninth in postseason play, tying Jason Varitek's franchise record.
Ramirez walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Lowell's single.
Lackey finally settled down in the fourth and got four of his last nine outs on strikeouts. He finished with those four strikeouts and gave up four runs, nine hits and two walks.