John Lackey, Red Sox Look to Complete Sweep of Orioles

John Lackey, Red Sox Look to Complete Sweep of Orioles Following back-to-back strong outings from Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester, John Lackey will seek to follow in their footsteps on Sunday and win his third consecutive decision.

This will mark the second time this season that Lackey and left-hander Brian Matusz have gone against each other. The Red Sox won their first matchup 7-6 after Jonathan Papelbon closed the door on a ninth inning rally by the Orioles. Kevin Youkilis hit a three-run homer in that game.

Youk has roped two home runs in the past two nights, as Orioles pitching has struggled to find an answer for the potential All-Star.

Can Matusz do something that the other Orioles starters couldn’t do?

When and Where

Red Sox (33-24) at Orioles (15-41)
Sunday, June 6, 1:35 p.m.
Camden Yards, Baltimore

Head to Head

The Sox have won 10 of their last 11 season series and are 4-4 against the Orioles this season.

Pitching Matchup

RHP John Lackey (6-3, 4.95 ERA) vs. LHP Brian Matusz (2-6, 5.28 ERA)

John Lackey is coming off of back-to-back wins over Tampa Bay and Oakland. In his last start, Lackey went six innings and gave up four runs on 12 hits and picked up the win.

In his career against the Orioles, Lackey is 9-3 with a 3.17 ERA in 14 career starts. All three of those losses have come while playing at Camden Yards, which is where Sunday’s game takes place.

Lackey is 1-0 with 3.21 ERA against Baltimore in two starts this season.

On April 24, he picked up a win over the Orioles after pitching seven innings and giving up two runs on 10 hits.

On April 29, he also pitched seven innings and gave up two earned runs on six hits and received a no decision.

The 23-year-old Brian Matusz has lost his last six decisions after winning his first two of 2010. He pitched well in his last outing, giving up only one earned run to the New York Yankees over 6 2/3 innings, but suffered the loss.

In his only career start against the Red Sox, Matusz opposed Lackey in the April 24 matchup at Fenway Park. He allowed three runs on six hits over six innings, receiving a no decision.

LINEUPS

Red Sox Orioles
Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Victor Martinez, C
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Bill Hall, LF
Mike Cameron, CF
Darnell McDonald, RF

Julio Lugo, 2B
Miguel Tejada, DH
Nick Markakis, RF
Ty Wigginton, 1B
Luke Scott, LF
Adam Jones, CF
Scott Moore, 3B
Craig Tatum, C
Cesar Izturis, SS

Stat Sheet

Red Sox

  • Marco Scutaro is hitting .405 in his last nine games (17-for-42).
  • Kevin Youkilis has homered in back-to-back games and is 5-for-10
    with six RBIs in the series. In his career against Baltimore, he now has
    17 home runs and 65 RBIs, the most he has against any team in the
    majors.
  • John Lackey is 2-2 with a 4.22 ERA on the road this season.

Orioles

  • The Orioles have left 30 men on base in the two games this series.
  • Ty Wigginton, whose 13 home runs are among the AL’s best, has not homered in 11 games.
  • Nick Markakis, who has driven in over 100 runs in two of the last three seasons, only has 17 RBIs in 54 games this season.

Black and Blue

Red Sox

  • Outfielder Jeremy Hermida, who left Friday’s game with a bruised left forearm, received a CT scan on Saturday and it was revealed that there was no damage.
  • Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is in Baltimore with the team, but is on the 15-day disabled list with rib soreness, retroactive to May 25.
  • Outfielder Mike Cameron missed his fourth consecutive game on Saturday as he continues to recover from an abdominal strain.
  • Starter Josh Beckett is still recovering from a back injury, and it could be 10 days before he resumes baseball activities.
  • Pitcher Boof Bonser’s 30-day rehab stint following a groin injury is over. He pitched a scoreless inning Saturday in Triple-A Pawtucket and could appear in the Sox bullpen on Sunday. If not, he may be designated for assignment and lost to another major league club.
  • Jed Lowrie was on the field at Fenway Park last week, but he continues to battle mononucleosis.

Orioles

  • Second baseman Brian Roberts was expected to play in an extended spring training game on Friday, but suffered a minor setback. On the DL since April 10, Roberts is still expected to return later this month.
  • Closer Mike Gonzalez threw a bullpen session this week and could return in a couple of weeks.
  • Outfielder Felix Pie is expected to be out until July with a torn muscle in his back
  • Reliever Alfredo Simon is on the DL with a strained left hamstring, and is eligible to return on Tuesday.

Outlook

John Lackey has been inconsistent in 2010 thus far, but he has a chance to give the Red Sox a sweep of the Orioles on Sunday.

Jon Lester turned in another solid performance for the Red Sox on Saturday, marking the second consecutive game that a Red Sox starter did not let up a run. Clay Buchholz pitched a complete game shutout on Friday night, and Lester pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings on Saturday.

With the Red Sox swinging the bats well, and the inconsistent Brian Matusz on the mound, there is no reason to believe the Sox won’t complete the sweep.

The Red Sox have scored at least six runs in six straight games, and are now 22-10 over their last 32 games, while the Orioles’ season-long woes continue.