UNUSUAL MOVE: Looking for a setup man, the Red Sox found one in their starting rotation.
John Lackey worked a scoreless eighth inning to protect a 4-2 lead for Boston. The right-hander’s only regular-season relief appearance in 324 career games came in 2004 with the Angels. He also had two relief outings in the 2002 postseason, when he was a rookie.
Lackey started Game 2 and is slated to get the ball again in Game 6, so this was probably his regular throw day. No doubt closer Koji Uehara will be on in the ninth.
CLOSING THE GAP: Matt Carpenter’s run-scoring single off Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow cuts it to 4-2 in the seventh.
That was it, though. Junichi Tazawa retired Matt Holliday on a sharp grounder to end the inning. Holliday hit a tiebreaking, two-run double off Tazawa in a key situation Saturday night.
SIGH OF RELIEF: What a job by left-hander Felix Doubront in relief of Boston starter Clay Buchholz.
Doubront retired his first eight batters before Shane Robinson’s pinch-hit double chased him in the seventh. The left-hander struck out three _ all looking _ in 2 2-3 innings. He stands to win if the rest of the Red Sox bullpen can hang on.
Normally a starter, Doubront was annoyed that he was left out of the playoff rotation. He also gave Boston two scoreless innings of relief Saturday night in Game 3.
SUPER SUB: A three-run homer by Jonny Gomes gives the Red Sox a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning as they try to tie the Series at two games apiece.
Turns out, Shane Victorino’s stiff lower back was a stroke of luck for Boston. Gomes wasn’t even in the lineup until Victorino was pulled about 75 minutes before the first pitch.