BOSTON — Nelson Cruz’s five-hit night helped send Boston Red Sox right-hander John Lackey to an early exit in the Orioles’ 7-4 win in the nightcap of the teams’ doubleheader, but after the game, Lackey didn't have much positive to say about Cruz.
Cruz was 3-for-3 with a double and homer off Lackey.
He doubled and singled off Lackey in his first two at-bats of the game, then hit a towering solo homer down the left-field line that cleared the Green Monster and hit a sign well above it. Cruz also hit an RBI single and a double after Lackey exited.
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Cruz is tied for the major league lead in home runs with 27 and likely will be announced as a starter in the All-Star Game for the first time in his career Sunday, when the rosters are announced.
But Lackey’s postgame comments to Red Sox reporters about Cruz spoke volumes.
“I’m not even going to comment on him,” Lackey said. “I’ve got nothing to say about him. There are some things that I would like to say, but I’m not going to. You guys forget pretty conveniently about stuff.”
Cruz served a 50-game suspension last season for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. When he was suspended, Cruz accepted it and apologized, explaining that he used performance-enhancing drugs for a gastrointestinal infection that went undiagnosed and caused him to lose 40 pounds.
He has put last season in the past, saying often that going through the situation made him a better and more focused player, but Lackey’s comments show that some players have a hard time forgetting and forgiving.