John Lackey has strong opinions about players who have used performance-enhancing drugs.
The righthander said last season he didn’t feel serial drug user Alex Rodriguez belonged on the field while he appealed his suspension in the Biogenesis matter. Lackey also has been in favor of longer suspensions for drug users.
So when Baltimore slugger Nelson Cruz, who was suspended for 50 games last season, went 3 for 3 with a home run and double against Lackey in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, the pitcher was miffed.
“I’m not even going to comment on him. I’ve got nothing to say about him. There’s things I would like to say but I’m not going to,” Lackey said after the game. “You guys [in the media] forget pretty conveniently about stuff.”
In a revealing choice of words, Red Sox manager John Farrell said Cruz “looked strong” at the plate.
On Sunday, Cruz said he had not heard about the comments.
“What I care is about my teammates, what they think about me,” he said. “When you go to ballparks and beat other teams they are not going to be happy regardless of what you do . . . Everybody is free to talk.”
But Baltimore manager Buck Showalter, as he often does, threw a jab at the Sox.
“Sometimes we need to check our own backyard before talking about someone else’s,” he said, making a not-so-veiled reference to David Ortiz being tied to drug use based on leaked information from a 2003 survey test.
Cruz was 3 for 6 with a double and one RBI in Sunday’s 7-6, 12-inning victory for Baltimore. He was 8 of 15 in the series.
Cruz said he saw Ortiz during the offseason and was encouraged by him to sign with the Red Sox. The team, however, never made an offer to Cruz.
De La Rosa lined up
The Red Sox have not named a starter for Wednesday’s game against the White Sox, but righthander Rubby De La Rosa seems to be the choice.
De La Rosa pitched a scoreless inning for Triple A Pawtucket on Sunday night at Columbus as a tuneup for the game. De La Rosa threw 21 pitches.
De La Rosa was 2-2 with a 2.51 earned run average over five starts for the Red Sox before he was optioned to Pawtucket June 28 to make room on the roster for Clay Buchholz coming off the disabled list.
De La Rosa since has pitched in two games for Pawtucket.
Mike Carp played the entire game in left field for Pawtucket and went 2 for 4 with an RBI. It was the seventh game on his injury rehabilitation assignment. Carp, who is on the DL with a broken right foot, could be ready to return this week. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks was not in the lineup for Pawtucket . . . Shane Victorino was on the field about an hour before the game doing some running and agility drills under the direction of physical therapist Dan Dyrek. The right fielder, who hasn’t played since May 23 because of hamstring and back injuries, also did some throwing . . . Lefthander Henry Owens may not be long for Double A Portland. The 21-year-old improved to 12-3 and dropped his ERA to 2.21 as the Sea Dogs beat New Britain, 6-1, Sunday. Owens allowed one run on three hits and struck out 11 with one walk. Owens was the first pitcher in the minors to get to 12 wins.
Double his fun
Ortiz’s double in the fourth inning had some historical significance. It was his 1,708th hit with the Red Sox, giving him sole possession of seventh place in team history. Ortiz had been tied with Hall of Famer Harry Hooper. Ortiz has 535 doubles, good for 35th place all time. That’s one more than Lou Gehrig and Derek Jeter . . . Koji Uehara pitched two scoreless innings, dropping his ERA to 1.30. He has allowed one run in 16⅔ innings over 17 appearances against the Orioles since Baltimore traded him to Texas during the 2011 season . . . Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing with second base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt over what he thought was a balk by Baltimore reliever Ryan Webb. It was the third time this season Butterfield was ejected. It was Maine Day at Fenway and Butterfield is a Bangor native . . . The Red Sox are 16-22 against the AL East.