Red Sox Hoping to Stay Unbeaten Against Angels With John Lackey on Mound

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Red Sox Hoping to Stay Unbeaten Against Angels With John Lackey on Mound The Red Sox look to remain perfect against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim when the two teams meet Wednesday night at Fenway Park.

With a 6-0 win in the opener of the three-game set Tuesday, the Sox improved to 8-0 in the season series. They also remained 5 1/2 games back of both Tampa Bay and New York in the race for the wild card/American League East crown.

Former Angel John Lackey will face his old teammates once again. He is coming off a fine outing in Toronto that was wasted due to a ninth-inning collapse.

Scott Kazmir will take the ball for Anaheim, which has lost three of four to fall back to .500.

WHEN AND WHERE

Angels (60-60) at Red Sox (68-52)
Wednesday, August 18, 7:10 p.m.
Fenway Park, Boston

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HEAD TO HEAD

The Red Sox have won the first eight meetings between the teams for the first time ever.

PITCHING MATCHUP

LHP Scott Kazmir (8-10, 6.36 ERA) vs. RHP John Lackey (10-7, 4.54 ERA)

Lackey will be facing his former team for the third time this season. The first two meetings went well.

After allowing a run on just two hits in seven innings of a start against the Angels at Fenway Park back in May, Lackey threw 7 1/3 strong frames to defeat them out in Los Angeles last month.

Lackey is winless in three starts since then, going 0-2 with a 6.52 ERA. He did work into the ninth in Toronto his last time out only to see closer Jonathan Papelbon blow a save.

Kazmir, who once owned the Red Sox, has allowed just two earned runs in 11 innings pitched since coming off the disabled list. He has six of his eight wins on the road but gave up seven runs in 4 1/3 innings in Boston earlier in the year.

The lefty is 8-8 with a 3.94 ERA vs. the Sox, tallying 141 strikeouts in 134 2/3 innings pitched.

LINEUPS

Red Sox Angels
Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Victor Martinez, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Mike Lowell, 1B
Bill Hall, LF
Darnell McDonald, RF
Ryan Kalish, CF
Bobby Abreu, LF
Reggie Willits, CF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Torii Hunter, RF
Hideki Matsui, DH
Maicer Izturis, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jeff Mathis, C

STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • Boston's eight-game winning streak vs. the Angels is its longest since a nine-game run which spanned the '95 and '96 seasons.
  • Outfielder Ryan Kalish is the youngest Red Sox player to hit a grand slam since Tony Conigliaro did it at 20 years, 229 days old on Aug. 24, 1965. Kalish is 22.
  • Designated hitter David Ortiz on Tuesday passed Jason Varitek with his 297th double with Boston. Ortiz is in eighth place in club history, trailing Dom DiMaggio.

Angels

  • LA pitchers have given up seven grand slams this season, more than in any year since 2003.
  • Outfielder Bobby Abreu is hitting .412 (14-for-34) with two home runs, six RBIs, seven runs and five doubles during a nine-game hitting streak.
  • Outfielder Torii Hunter has taken away a home run 36 times in his career, once as a right fielder after robbing Adrian Beltre on Tuesday.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox

  • Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is on the 15-day disabled list for the third time this season with soreness in his troubled left side, the result of a collision at first base Friday night. He was examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
  • First baseman Kevin Youkilis had successful surgery Friday to repair the torn right adductor muscle on his right hand. He will miss the remainder of the season.
  • Center fielder Mike Cameron is on the DL with a lower abdominal strain. He is reportedly done for the year.
  • Catcher Jason Varitek (broken right foot) had another scan and an exam Tuesday. His foot still has not fully healed, although Varitek is just about running at full speed.
  • Catcher Kevin Cash is on the DL with a left hamstring strain.
  • Left-hander Hideki Okajima is on the DL with a right hamstring strain. He threw a bullpen session with Varitek in Texas, threw again Tuesday and may do so again Thursday.
  • Right-hander Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.

Angels

  • Right-hander Joel Pineiro is out until September with a left oblique strain.
  • Right-hander Rich Thompson is on the DL with right shoulder inflammation.
  • Right-hander Jason Bulger is expected to join the team soon as he recovers from a strained right shoulder.
  • Reliever Brian Stokes is on the DL with right shoulder fatigue. He began a minor league rehab assignment earlier this month.
  • First baseman Kendry Morales is out for the year with a broken leg.

OUTLOOK

One may get the feeling that the Angels are due to beat the Red Sox at some point. But with the way Boston hit a struggling Kazmir earlier in the year and with the way Lackey has handled his former team, that Anaheim win may have to wait another day.

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