BOSTON — Never one to take a lot of time between pitches, John Lackey had extra motivation to throw quickly and get out of the biting chill at Fenway Park.
Lackey pitched eight solid innings with temperatures in the low 40s as the Boston Red Sox beat the slumping Tampa Bay Rays 7-4 on Tuesday night.
“I try to work fast,” Lackey said. “Especially when it’s cold, I’m trying to get guys in the dugout. It wasn’t a whole lot of fun out there on the field today.”
Lackey’s teammates showed their appreciation with a five-run rally in the sixth as the Red Sox opened a three-game series with a win over their AL East rivals.
Shane Victorino drove in his first two runs of the season while going 4 for 4, hiking his batting average from .133 to .316. Victorino was playing in his fourth game after missing the first 22 with a hamstring injury. He singled in his first two at-bats, hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth and added an RBI double in the sixth.
“We knew it was going to take a couple of games for him to get his feet on the ground,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “He does give us a completely different dynamic in that 2-hole. When we can set the table for that middle of the order, we’ve got a chance to score some runs.”
Lackey (4-2) scattered six hits and allowed two runs, striking out five and walking one. After the Rays scored twice in the ninth, Koji Uehara came in and struck out Ben Zobrist on three pitches for his sixth save.
Jackie Bradley Jr. had a pair of doubles and two RBIs as the Red Sox got 13 hits and won for the third time in four games. Xander Bogaerts was the only Boston starter without a hit.
“It was good to see the evenness throughout the at-bats 1 through 9,” Farrell said.
The Rays lost for the seventh time in eight road games and are 4-9 away from home.
Wil Myers had two hits and scored a run for the Rays. James Loney hit two doubles and joined Myers as the only Tampa Bay players with more than one hit. Both scored in the ninth on a throwing error by Bogaerts at shortstop.
The Rays began the second leg of a 10-game road trip, which they started 1-3 in Chicago. Erik Bedard held Boston to one run through five innings, but the bullpen could not stop the Red Sox in the sixth.
Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said both starters had good command, but it was a tough night for relievers to sit through the frigid conditions and then have to pitch.
“Bedard was good. I thought Lackey’s command was good tonight,” Maddon said. “It’s hard. It’s hard for both sides. The game was not meant to be played in this kind of weather. But you’ve got to fight through it.”
Brandon Gomes (1-1) started the sixth inning and immediately walked Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes. Juan Carlos Oviedo took over with one out and fared no better. A.J. Pierzynski hit an RBI single, then Will Middlebrooks and Bradley hit back-to-back doubles.
Bradley’s shot to center bounced off the wall in one of the deepest parts of Fenway Park, scoring Pierzynski and Middlebrooks easily. Bradley went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Victorino’s ground-rule double.
The Red Sox scored three more on three hits off Oviedo. Boston scored five times in the inning and sent nine batters to the plate.
“That’s something that we normally don’t do,” Maddon said. “We’re normally pretty good at minimizing damage. We’ve got to do a better job of that.”
Bedard got his third no-decision in four starts. He allowed four hits, striking out four and walking three.
Middlebrooks walked to start the fifth and went to third when Bradley doubled to center. The Rays nearly got out of it when Dustin Pedroia lined out to third baseman Evan Longoria, who made a dive for the bag. Middlebrooks was diving in the other direction and barely beat the tag, then scored on Victorino’s fly to center to put Boston up 1-0.
The Rays got the run back in the sixth when Desmond Jennings doubled with one out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Longoria.
Ryan Hanigan’s single in the seventh drove in Myers, who led off the inning with a double that was just a few feet left of being a homer to center.
ATHLETICS 9, RANGERS 3
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Derek Norris drove in three runs with a pair of doubles, Scott Kazmir outpitched Martin Perez and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 Tuesday night.
The A’s went ahead to stay on Norris’ two-run double in the first off Perez (4-1), who had pitched 26 consecutive scoreless innings over his previous three starts.
The left-hander had thrown three-hit shutouts his last two games, including at Oakland six days earlier.
Kazmir (4-0) tied for the AL lead in wins. He needed 95 pitches to get through five innings, but left with a 9-3 lead. The lefty struck out four and walked one.
When Norris added an RBI double to make it 4-0 in the third, the A’s already had six hits off Perez, who started the night with an AL-best 1.42 ERA.
MARINERS 6, YANKEES 3
NEW YORK (AP) — Robinson Cano drove in a run and scored another in a most unwelcome return to Yankee Stadium, helping Seattle beat New York for its fourth win in five games.
Amid lusty boos from a modest crowd on a rainy, 46-degree night, Cano began his first game in the Bronx since joining Seattle this winter for $240 million with a wink — at Yankees starter CC Sabathia (3-3).
Cano got a mock cheer when he struck out to end the inning, then was met with chants of “You sold out!” from the Bleacher Creatures when he took his spot at second base.
When Cano grounded out to first base in the fourth, first baseman Mark Teixeira gave him a smile after the close play. The five-time All-Star was even booed when he cleanly handled a grounder.
Chris Young (1-0) gave up a second-inning homer to Teixeira and not much else in 5 2-3 innings to earn his first win since 2012. Mike Zunino had a career-high four hits, one courtesy of a replay review that sparked a four-run fifth inning.
TIGERS 4, WHITE SOX 3
CHICAGO (AP) — Bryan Holaday bunted home Austin Jackson with two out in the ninth to lift Detroit over Chicago.
Jackson lined a long drive to right off Ronald Belisario and reached third when the ball was misplayed for an error by Dayan Viciedo. Jackson scored on Holaday’s surprise bunt down the first base line.
Right-hander Joba Chamberlain (1-1) worked one inning of relief and Joe Nathan earned his fifth save.
Belisario (1-3) pitched two innings, allowing one hit and striking out three.
White Sox starter Jose Quintana struck out a season-high 10, but had no decision for the third time this season, departing after six innings with the game tied 3-all.
ROYALS 10, BLUE JAYS 7
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Salvador Perez homered and drove in four runs, helping Kansas City rally to defeat Toronto.
Perez’s two-run double off Sergio Santos in the Royals’ six-run eighth put the Royals ahead. Perez’s four RBIs matched his career high.
The Royals sent 10 men to the plate in the eighth, which also included Omar Infante driving in two runs, while Nori Aoki and Jarrod Dyson added RBI singles.
Perez, who has three consecutive multi-hit games, homered in the seventh with Alex Gordon aboard to trim Toronto’s lead to 5-4.
Aaron Crow (1-1), the third of four Royals pitchers, picked up the victory with a scoreless eighth inning and has not allowed an earned run and only five hits in nine innings this season.
Brett Cecil (0-2) took the loss, retiring only two of the five batters he faced.
ANGELS 6, INDIANS 4
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Howie Kendrick had a two-run single in his first game in the leadoff spot this season, Chris Iannetta hit a pair of RBI singles and Los Angeles sent Cleveland to its fifth straight loss.
Jered Weaver (2-2) allowed two runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings, striking out six and walking one. The Angels’ ace threw 90 pitches and was lifted after giving up four consecutive hits, including a two-run homer by Carlos Santana.
Joe Smith, the seventh Angels pitcher, tossed a perfect ninth for his second save in two nights against his former teammates after he was thrust into the closer’s role last Friday in place of an ineffective Ernesto Frieri.
Corey Kluber (2-3) gave up four runs — three earned — and four hits over 4 2-3 innings with five strikeouts and four walks.
NATIONALS 4, ASTROS 3
HOUSTON (AP) — Adam LaRoche hit a tying double in the eighth inning and a go-ahead single in the ninth to lift Washington over Houston.
Jayson Werth homered as the Nationals won the opener of the interleague series.
Denard Span drew a leadoff walk in the ninth, stole second base and advanced to third on a groundout. He scored on LaRoche’s hit to right field off Josh Fields (0-3).
Tyler Clippard (2-2) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. Rafael Soriano walked two in a scoreless ninth for his fifth save.
ST. LOUIS — Lyle Overbay singled in Khris Davis with the tiebreaking run and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the St. Louis Cardinals in extra innings for the second straight night, winning 5-4 in 11 innings Tuesday.
Davis hit a go-ahead triple to help the Brewers win 5-3 in 12 innings Monday and started the winning rally this time with a leadoff double against Kevin Siegrist (0-1). Milwaukee is a major league-best 20-7, two more victories than the previous franchise best for the opening month, and 11-1 on the road.
Carlos Gomez homered and pitcher Kyle Lohse had a two-run single for the Brewers, who have won five of six. Tyler Thornburg (3-0) struck out four in two scoreless innings and Francisco Rodriguez finished for his 13th save in 13 chances.
Yadier Molina hit a three-run homer in the first and Allen Craig’s RBI triple tied it in the seventh for the Cardinals, who have lost three of four.
The Brewers, missing four starters, improved to 4-1 in extra innings. The Cardinals are 0-3.
MARLINS 9, BRAVES 0
MIAMI — Jose Fernandez allowed two hits in eight stellar innings, Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer and Miami opened a homestand by routing Atlanta.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia also homered. Second baseman Ed Lucas had three hits in his season debut after recovering from a broken left hand, and Marcell Ozuna hit a two-run single for the Marlins.
Fernandez (4-1) was dominant against the NL East leaders again, lowering his ERA to 1.59. He struck out eight and walked two.
Braves starter Alex Wood (2-4) allowed seven runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings.
Fernandez beat Wood 1-0 last Tuesday when the two pitchers combined for 25 strikeouts and no walks.
METS 6, PHILLIES 1
PHILADELPHIA — Jonathon Niese pitched seven steady innings on a rainy night and Daniel Murphy had three hits to lead New York over Philadelphia.
Ruben Tejada doubled and had two RBIs for the surprising Mets, who chased Cole Hamels (0-2) in the fifth and have won seven of nine. They improved to 15-11 overall, marking the first time New York has been four games over .500 since July 14, 2012.
Marlon Byrd homered and Ryan Howard had two hits with a double for Philadelphia, which lost for only the third time in nine games.
The start was delayed by rain for 1 hour, 28 minutes, and the temperature at first pitch was a chilly 46 degrees. But the weather hardly affected Niese (2-2), who gave up four hits while striking out five and walking one.
REDS 3, CUBS 2
CINCINNATI — Billy Hamilton hit his first career homer and Chris Heisey singled home the tiebreaking run in the sixth inning, sending Cincinnati past Chicago in a game delayed three times because of rain.
The game started 19 minutes late. There was a 15-minute delay in the top of the fifth and a 71-minute delay in the bottom of the sixth.
Hamilton’s solo shot off Jeff Samardzija (0-3) tied it in the fifth. Zack Cozart tripled with two outs in the sixth, and Heisey’s pinch-hit single put the Reds ahead as heavy rain started to fall.
Alfredo Simon (4-1) gave up five hits, including Starlin Castro’s two-run single. Jonathan Broxton retired all three batters in the ninth for his fifth save in five chances.
The Cubs have lost five of six, falling to 8-17. Chicago manager Rick Renteria was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the sixth.
GIANTS 6, PADRES 0
SAN FRANCISCO — Angel Pagan hit a leadoff homer, Buster Posey connected two batters later and Yusmeiro Petit went six innings in a spot start for injured Matt Cain as San Francisco beat San Diego.
Cain was scratched after cutting the tip of his right index finger. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before the game that Cain was in the clubhouse kitchen and had a knife in his hand when the utensil dropped. Cain tried to catch it and cut his finger about a half-inch. He is expected to make his next start.
Petit (2-1) didn’t allow a hit until Everth Cabrera’s leadoff single in the fourth. Jean Machi and Santiago Casilla finished the three-hitter.
Hector Sanchez hit a two-run single and a sacrifice fly. Pagan and Posey homered off Eric Stults (1-3), who gave up five runs and seven hits in 2 2-3 innings.
ROCKIES 5, DIAMONDBACKS 4
PHOENIX — Drew Stubbs hit his first home run of the season, off closer Addison Reed in the ninth inning, to lift Colorado over Arizona.
Troy Tulowitzki had his second big game in a row in Arizona, hitting a two-run homer to put the Rockies up 4-3 in the sixth. A.J. Pollock tied it with a two-out home run in the eighth.
Stubbs, who entered in a double switch in the eighth, hit a 2-2 pitch from Reed (0-2) into the right field seats, his first homer in 43 at-bats this year.
Boone Logan (1-0) gave up Pollock’s homer but got the victory. LaTroy Hawkins allowed two hits in a scoreless ninth for his ninth save.
The Diamondbacks dropped their fourth straight, all at home, to fall to 2-13 at Chase Field this season.
Colorado starter Tyler Chatwood left in the sixth with tightness in his right elbow. Nolan Arenado had an RBI single to extend his hitting streak to 19 games, longest in the majors this season.