BRADENTON, Fla. -- Boston's Jon Lackey retired the Pittsburgh Pirates on eight pitches in the first inning. Then he labored through a 35-pitch second inning.

"After the first inning being so quick, I definitely needed to throw a few pitches," Lackey said after the Red Sox routed the Pittsburgh Pirates 16-6 Thursday. "It was more about getting up and down a couple times today. That was the biggest key for me."

Lackey, who missed last season following elbow ligament-replacement surgery, was making his second spring training start. Pittsburgh took a 3-1 lead in the second when Brandon Inge and Clint Robinson singled, and Jared Goedert sent a curveball into the Red Sox bullpen beyond the left-field wall.

Lackey threw only fastballs in his one inning last weekend against Tampa Bay. He mixed in offspeed pitches against the Pirates.

"I threw a couple good ones, hung a couple," he said. "A good step in the right direction. I'm still looking for a little bit of feel. But there hasn't been any pain and I feel like my arm strength is getting better, so I'm encouraged."

Lackey has been working on his cutter while throwing on flat ground and expects to throw a few in his next bullpen session. But his next outing, which likely will set slated for three innings, probably will be another fastball-breaking ball mix.

"These first few are definitely more about commanding the fastball than my secondary pitches," Lackey said.


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Pirates pitchers combined for 15 walks, including four with the bases loaded. Shortstop Josh Harrison made two throwing errors that allowed three runs to score.

Lyle Overbay drew a bases-loaded walk in a four-run third off left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, who gave up four runs, three hits and four walks in two-thirds of an inning.

Right-hander Jameson Taillon worked the first two innings for the Pirates. Among Pittsburgh's top prospects, Taillon struck out three and allowed one run on one hit.

NOTES: Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks took batting practice, a few hours after being cleared by a wrist specialist. Middlebrooks left Wednesday night's game when he felt pain in his right wrist on a checked swing. Middlebrooks broke the wrist last August when he was hit by a pitch.