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10/01/09 10:20 PM EST
Lackey shows intensity in final tuneup
Angels ace jaws with Rangers' Davis during his two frames
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- If there was any question whether right-hander John Lackey would bring his normal intensity into his planned two-inning start on Thursday, it was answered in the second inning, when the Rangers' Chris Davis hit a two-run homer and took his time trotting around the bases. Lackey didn't appreciate seeing Davis trotting slowly, so he yelled at him to hurry up while Davis was rounding both second and third base. "I encouraged him to maybe move along a little faster," Lackey said after the Angels' 11-3 loss at Angel Stadium. "I knew I was throwing only two innings, so I was like, 'Come on.'" But the one thing Lackey didn't know at the time was that Davis was running slowly because he has been nursing an injured left hamstring. Lackey didn't find that out until Davis told Angels catcher Jeff Mathis about his injury the next time he came up to the plate. "I didn't know until he told Mathis," Lackey said. "It's not a big deal now. It's whatever." Davis agreed it wasn't a big deal as well because he knew that Lackey didn't know about his hamstring injury. "He definitely had no idea I was hurt," Davis said. "I can't see myself run around the bases, but I wasn't being disrespectful. I ran like I always do with my head down. I didn't do anything different." The two-run homer gave the Rangers the only two runs they scored off Lackey. He allowed four hits and walked none while striking out two. Lackey also threw 40 pitches in his final tuneup before starting next week against the Red Sox in the American League Division Series after throwing 20 extra pitches in a pregame bullpen. "It felt good," said Lackey, who finished the regular season with an 11-8 record and a 3.83 ERA and figures to get the Game 1 nod on either Wednesday or Thursday. "I worked on a few things and got what I need to get done."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.