Lackey rocked for three homers as Red Sox lose in Colorado, 8-3
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey kicks the mound after giving up two runs in the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 in Denver. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)
Boston Red Sox Daniel Nava is hit by a pitch from Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood in the first inning of a baseball game on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 in Denver. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood fields the throw to tag out Boston Red Sox Jackie Bradley Jr. as he slides into home after a wild pitch by Chatwood in the seventh inning of a baseball game on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 in Denver. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)
DENVER – Charlie Blackmon hit his first career leadoff homer and Tyler Chatwood pitched seven strong innings, lifting the Colorado Rockies to an 8-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox last night.
John Lackey (10-13) struggled on the road again, allowing four runs and six hits in six innings. The right-hander is 1-5 away from Fenway Park since the All-Star break.
Lackey also gave up solo homers to Troy Tulowitzki and Corey Dickerson.
Chatwood (8-5) shut down a potent Red Sox lineup as he gave up one unearned run and three hits before being pulled for a pinch hitter with a 4-1 lead in the seventh.
The Rockies went on to score four times that inning to seal the win, with DJ LeMahieu and Michael Cuddyer each delivering two-run singles.
Cuddyer finished the night 2-for-4 with a double to raise his average to an NL-best .335.
With the AL East title wrapped up, the Red Sox are now focused on securing the best record in the league. They were holding onto a slim one-game lead over Oakland heading into the night.
Manager John Farrell also is using these last few games as a way figure out his final postseason roster spots. Farrell said there are a couple still up for grabs.
David Ortiz played first base instead of Mike Napoli without the use of a designated hitter. Ortiz showed off his glove, too, snaring a scorching liner from Dickerson to end the sixth.
Chatwood pitched carefully to the dangerous Ortiz, even intentionally walking him in first with a runner on second. The ploy worked as Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded out.
Later, Ortiz hit a fly to the deepest part of the park, but Blackmon tracked it down.
The only mistake Chatwood made wasn’t on the mound but covering first base in the seventh. With two outs and Will Middlebrooks on second, Todd Helton made a diving stop on Jackie Bradley Jr.’s grounder and quickly flipped it to Chatwood, who dropped the ball before stepping on the base.
Chatwood scooped it up and threw wide to home plate and into the Red Sox dugout, allowing Middlebrooks to score. Chatwood was charged with two errors on the play and Bradley advanced to third.
But Chatwood escaped more damage when his wild pitch bounced off the wall behind home plate, allowing catcher Jordan Pacheco to quickly field the ball and flick it to Chatwood, who tagged out Bradley, keeping the score 4-1.
Saltalamacchia hit a two-run homer in the ninth after Ortiz singled.
Blackmon, the reigning NL player of the week, began the game with a homer to right on a fastball from Lackey. Cuddyer soon followed with a double and scored on Helton’s single.
Helton clapped his hands after his hit as the crowd roared. The first baseman will retire at the end of the season after 17 years with the Rockies.
Before the game, Helton said he didn’t “do nostalgia” and didn’t want to reflect back on his career just yet. He holds virtually every hitting category in Rockies history and will play his final home game tonight.
Helton nearly was a member of the Red Sox had a rumored trade before the 2007 season taken place. That was the season the Red Sox went on to sweep the Rockies to capture the World Series title.
Asked how close he was to being in a Boston uniform, Helton said: “I have no idea. You have to talk to the people that were making the decisions.”
∎ Red Sox OF Jacoby Ellsbury (right foot) could return to the lineup as soon as tonight.
∎ Rockies hitting coach Dante Bichette said he wants to spend more time with his family rather than return for another season.
∎ Rockies owner Dick Monfort is pleased with the performance of first-year Manager Walt Weiss and hopes he returns. Monfort said the sides have yet to talk about a new deal.
∎ Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez (sprained right middle finger) plans to take batting practice today.