John Lackey hasn't justified his $82.5 million contract, a mission that probably never will be accomplished. But for seven weeks this summer, his pitching helped stabilize the Red Sox rotation.

The righthander had won seven games, compiling a 4.11 ERA, just slightly above the league average. Lackey had even heard cheers from the fans at Fenway Park who wanted him run out of town in the spring.

That ended yesterday against the Texas Rangers.

Lackey couldn't get an out in the sixth inning as the Red Sox were slammed, 11-4. He gave up six runs on eight hits with three walks and a strikeout.

Lackey also hit a batter, giving him 18 on the season. He leads the majors in that category and is two away from tying the franchise record held by Bronson Arroyo (2004) and Howard Ehmke (1923).

"It was a rough day for him,'' catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said.

Lackey (12-11, 6.11 ERA) did his job for five innings, holding Texas to two runs on five hits. The Sox were down, 2-0, still very much in the game.