John Lackey took a step in his return to the Boston Red Sox from Tommy John surgery, giving up a run and four hits while facing Triple-A Durham, the Tampa Bay Rays' top farm club.
Lackey struck out five and walked two in five innings Saturday while the Red Sox's big league club was beating the Tampa Bay Rays 9-2 in Port Charlotte.
Lackey says he felt great. He hasn't pitched at least five innings since Sept. 25, 2011, against the Yankees. Lackey missed all of last season after having elbow-reconstruction surgery.
Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves said Lackey is throwing from 89-92 mph. Nieves said Lackey, who will likely go five innings again in his next outing, is no longer facing any limitations related to his surgery.