Game 90: Red Sox at Angels - Sox push forward with Lackey facing former team

Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

In most years, a loss like the one the Boston Red Sox took Saturday night would be a crushing blow and the beginning of a long losing streak. But not this team. Not this year.

The Red Sox (54-35) stunningly fell to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (42-45) in extra innings, 9-7, after blowing a 7-3 lead they took into the bottom of the ninth. This article will refrain from speaking any further about the past. With this team, it’s all about leaving the past in the past and moving forward. And so, too, shall this blog.

Tonight, Boston looks to win this weekend’s series and the season series against the Angels, as John Lackey seeks to continue his tremendous recent pitching. Lackey is 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his past five starts and has slowly shown Red Sox Nation that he can pitch up to his contract. He is just 6-5 on the season, but sports a 2.81 ERA and will face his former team and an Angels lineup that is starting to find its rhythm.

Here is the Red Sox lineup for tonight’s game on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball (first pitch – 8:05 pm EDT):

1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Nava, RF
3. Pedroia, 2B
4. Ortiz, DH
5. Napoli, 1B
6. Carp, LF
7. Lavarnway, C
8. Holt, 3B
9. Iglesias, SS

Lackey, P

Jered Weaver starts for the Angels and is rounding into form since returning from a broken left elbow he suffered early this season. Weaver is 2-4 with a 3.79 ERA, but is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his last two starts against the Tigers and Cardinals. Against St. Louis, Weaver went seven innings and allowed one run on six hits with five strikeouts.

We meet again
Lackey and Weaver have faced each other once before, back in July 2010, with Lackey earning the win at Angel Stadium. He went 7.1 innings and allowed two runs, as the Red Sox beat the Angels 4-2. It was Lackey’s first start against his former squad and in his former home stadium. He was booed loudly, unexpectedly, in that start and had quite the quote afterward:

Nobody wants to get booed like that. The scoreboard talks the loudest. That won’t be forgotten, for sure.

Ells stays hot
With a single in the first inning Saturday, Jacoby Ellsbury upped his hitting streak to 16 games, tops in the American League right now. Ellsbury is .397 (27-of-68) with a home run, eight RBIs and 13 runs scored during that span. It has bumped his average above .300 the past few games, the first time he’s been there this season since April 4. He have the best start to the season, but Ellsbury is starting to look like a player in the final year of his current contract, eager to earn money this offseason as a free agent.

Let us know what you think about tonight’s game by commenting below.

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