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