John Lackey Takes Mound As Red Sox Try to Salvage Split Against Rays

Lackey 9When John Lackey takes the mound for the Red Sox Thursday night against the Rays, there will be a lot more riding on his performance than usual.

If Boston fails to earn a series split, it will drop out of first place in the American League East for the first time since May 27 with a tough three-game set in Baltimore on the horizon.

Lackey has been one of the Red Sox’ best pitchers this season, with a 7-7 record and a 2.95 ERA. He has also fared well against Tampa Bay in the past, boasting a career 12-7 record and a 4.39 ERA against the Rays.

He will be opposed by Jeremy Hellickson, who has put together a record of 9-3 and an ERA of 4.62 this season.

There were only a few minor tweaks to the lineups that the two pitchers will be facing. The only change for the Red Sox was Jarrod Saltalamacchia being moved up to the No. 6 spot in the order. The Rays, meanwhile, will have a new catcher and left fielder in Jose Lobaton and Matt Joyce, respectively.

Check out the complete lineups for both teams below.

Tampa Bay Rays (60-42)

Desmond Jennings, CF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Ben Zobrist, 2B
Wil Myers, RF
James Loney, 1B
Luke Scott, DH
Matt Joyce, LF
Jose Lobaton, C
Yunel Escobar, SS

Jeremy Hellickson, RHP

Boston Red Sox (61-42)

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Johnny Gomes, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Jose Iglesias, 3B

John Lackey, RHP

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