Braves prove to be a challenge for Lackey
Righty allows five runs on 10 hits, but he does make an impressive play on defense
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Alex Wood extended the success he has had over the past month and Freddie Freeman put together a four-hit performance that helped the Braves claim a 6-3 win over the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon at Champion Stadium.
Showing why the Braves were so encouraged with what they saw as he made his first 11 career starts last year, Wood limited the Red Sox to one run over six strong innings. The southpaw surrendered four of his six hits in the fourth inning.
Wood faced the minimum through the first three innings and then allowed Daniel Nava and Shane Victorino to begin the fourth inning with consecutive singles. After Nava was picked off between second and third base, Mike Napoli recorded an RBI single that accounted for the only earned run Wood has allowed in 20 Grapefruit League innings this year.
Freeman began his productive performance by lacing an RBI double to the right-center-field gap and then capped it with singles in each of his final three at-bats. His third-inning single was a liner that appeared to strike Red Sox starter John Lackey's backside. Lackey recovered and fired a throw to first base that hit Freeman in the lower back.
Lackey was charged with five earned runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings. The veteran right-hander surrendered a third-inning solo home run to Andrelton Simmons and a two-run home run to Dan Uggla in Atlanta's three-run fifth inning.
Up next: Felix Doubront will take the hill against the Rays on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET at JetBlue Park (watch on MLB.TV). The Yankees hammered Doubront for seven runs on 10 hits in only 3 2/3 innings on Tuesday, but the southpaw has a strong history against the Rays (.238 average in 11 regular-season games).
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.