Cards acquire Lackey from Red Sox

Lackey underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011 and missed the 2012 season. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder Allen Craig and pitcher Joe Kelly to the Boston Red Sox on Thursday in exchange for pitcher John Lackey.

An All-Star last season, Craig has hit just .237/.291/.346 with seven home runs and 44 RBI in 97 games this season. Right field in St. Louis has been turned over to rookie Oscar Taveras, which left Craig as a fourth outfielder.

Hours after trading ace Jon Lester to the Oakland A’s, the Red Sox are sending Lackey to the National League after 11 seasons in the American League. The Cardinals are boosting their rotation ahead of the trade deadline, as they also acquired starting pitcher Justin Masterson from the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.

Lackey, who signed a five-year, $85 million contract with Boston back in 2010, was having one of his best seasons for the Red Sox, posting an 11-7 record with a 3.60 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 137.1 innings.

However, with the Red Sox 48-60 and 13.0 games behind the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the American League East, they have become sellers on the last day to make non-waiver trades.