John Lackey returns to the mound following Tommy John surgery and will start a new chapter in his career Saturday when the Boston Red Sox resume their weekend series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Lackey had surgery following the 2011 season and missed all of 2012. The right-hander posted a 5.40 ERA in spring training. Lackey, who signed a five- year, $82.5 million contract in December 2009, is 5-7 with a 5.48 ERA in 19 career starts against Toronto.
Left-hander J.A. Happ, who was traded from Houston to the Blue Jays last July, counters for the Blue Jays. Happ went 3-2 with a 4.69 ERA in 10 games (6 starts) for Toronto after posting a 7-9 mark in 18 starts for the Astros in 2012. He's 0-1 in three games (2 starts) against Boston.
Last night, Mike Napoli hit a two-run shot and drove in three, as the Red Sox ensured a positive result in manager John Farrell's return to Toronto, with a 6-4 decision at Rogers Centre.
The 50-year-old Farrell led the Blue Jays to a 73-89 mark in 2012 and 154-170 record in two seasons at the helm, but bolted for the vacant BoSox post in late October.
Will Middlebrooks added an insurance homer, while Jacoby Ellsbury and Pedro Ciriaco each knocked in a run for the Red Sox, who had won two of three in the Bronx to begin 2013.
Junichi Tazawa (1-0) allowed a run in the seventh but picked up the win.
Jose Reyes finished a triple shy of the cycle, going 4-for-5 with a solo homer and two RBI for the Blue Jays, losers in three of four to start the year. Mark DeRosa also went deep and knocked in the other two runs.
Esmil Rogers (0-1) was charged with the deciding run while recording just two outs in the eighth.
Melky Cabrera is two hits away from 1,000 in his career.
Toronto was 11-7 last season versus the Red Sox.