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Baseball On The 4th: Red Sox Go For Sweep of Orioles

(Sports Network) - Boston will try to complete the three-game sweep over Baltimore when the Red Sox host the Orioles this afternoon in the series finale at Fenway Park.

Taking the hill for the Red Sox will be John Lackey, who has won five of his last seven outings. The last time Lackey was on the bump he surrendered just one run in seven innings in a win over Tampa Bay.

It was the seventh win at home for Lackey in nine starts at Fenway Park, but it has not all been roses at home for the right-hander, who has just a 4.55 earned run average in those contests.

This will the 16th career start for Lackey against the Orioles, and in the previous 15 outings the veteran hurler has accumulated a 9-3 ledger with a 3.13 earned run average. One of those matchups came earlier this season and while Lackey did not factor in the decision, he surrendered just two runs in seven innings.

On the other side of the spectrum is Baltimore's pitcher, Brian Matusz, who has not won since April 18th. The young hurler has since dropped nine of his last 13 outings, including two in a row.

The last time the southpaw was on the hill he suffered a setback to Oakland. In the loss, Matusz only allowed three runs on seven hits in a little over six innings of work, but a lack of run support hurt the young hurler.

This will the third-ever matchup for Matusz against Boston and his second on the season. Earlier this year, the young Matusz allowed just two runs in 5 2/3 innings. Matusz allowed four hits and walked four batters, but also collected seven strike outs.

On Saturday, Kevin Youkilis homered and drove in three runs to back another sturdy effort from Jon Lester in Boston's 9-3 win over the Orioles.

J.D. Drew added three hits and drove in two runs and David Ortiz had three hits, scored two times and knocked in a run to lead the Red Sox to their fifth win in six games.

Lester (10-3) permitted a single run on five hits while walking one and striking out seven over seven innings, as Boston continued its domination over the Orioles at Fenway Park by beating the visitors for the 17th time in the last 19 games at the historic ballpark.

The lefty improved to 12-0 in 15 career starts against Baltimore and joined Hall of Famer Red Faber, who also won his first 12 decisions between 1914-16 against the Browns, as the only pitcher to begin his career with a double- digit win streak against the St. Louis/Baltimore franchise.

Jeremy Guthrie (3-10) suffered the loss after allowing six runs on nine hits over four-plus innings. He walked three and recorded one strikeout for the O's, who have dropped four out of five since a four-game win streak.