Another loss for Lackey

NEW YORK -- Red Sox starter John Lackey is trying to stay upbeat, but the fact he’s lost four times in his past five decisions did not bode well on Saturday.

The right-hander worked six innings and allowed five runs on eight hits with three walks and seven strikeouts at Yankee Stadium as New York defeated Boston, 5-2.

Lackey’s outing against the Yankees was similar to the ones he’s had of late during which he’ll pitch well, but there will be at least one inning when he struggles and the opposition takes advantage.

The game was knotted at 2-2 as Lackey entered the bottom of the fifth inning Saturday. He quickly retired the first two batters he faced before allowing two runs on four consecutive singles to the heart of the Yankees’ lineup.

“In the fifth inning, honestly, I made a lot of good pitches. They kind of nickel-and-dimed me to death on that one,” Lackey said. “I made some good pitches and had several balls just out of reach.”

He surrendered one more run in the sixth inning as New York gained a three-run cushion and did not relinquish it. Lackey’s record fell to 10-7 in 23 starts.

“He threw the ball good,” Sox catcher Victor Martinez said. “There were a few hits that found some holes. That’s a pretty good lineup over there and you don’t have much room to make a mistake. I thought he did a good job.”

On the other side, Yankees starter CC Sabathia was solid. The hefty lefty worked eight innings and allowed only two runs on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts. He kept the Red Sox batters off balance for much of the day.

“He’s always good,” Lackey said. “He’s a guy you have to put up a lot of zeros against.”

Red Sox manager Terry Francona agrees with Lackey’s assessment of his outing,

“[Lackey] just got outpitched today and we got outplayed,” Francona said.

Lackey did appear frustrated at times during his outing, but afterward said he’s already looking forward to his next start.

“It’s frustrating not winning every day, man,” Lackey said. “I definitely think I threw the ball better than the numbers are going to show today.”

He’s been saying that a lot recently.