(Sports Network) - If the Boston Red Sox are going to get back to the postseason, they are going to need Josh Beckett to start pitching like Josh Beckett. The right-hander takes the hill this evening when the Red Sox continue their three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.
Beckett, though, has lost his last two decisions and has been hammered in his last three outings, surrendering 19 runs in his last 16 innings. The Angels battered him on Thursday for six runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 frames, dropping Beckett to 3-3, while ballooning his earned run average to 6.67.
"I think it probably has to do with bad pitches. You throw pitches in the middle of the plate you're not going to get swings and misses," Beckett said. "You might get foul balls occasionally but you're not going to get swings and misses."
If Beckett is going to get back on track Seattle may be the team to do it against. Besides the fact that they are 26 games under .500, Beckett has always had success against the Mariners, posting a 4-1 mark to go along with a 2.93 ERA in six starts.
The Red Sox continued their postseason push on Monday when Marco Scutaro drove in four runs and John Lackey tossed eight solid innings, as Boston used a three-run seventh to pull out a 6-3 win. J.D. Drew and Victor Martinez each knocked in a run for the Red Sox, who have won three in a row and five of seven overall.
Lackey (12-7) gave up three runs -- two earned -- on six hits to win his second straight start. The right-hander also fanned a season-high 10 batters and walked two.
"I've been going deep in games, giving us a chance to win," Lackey said. "Tonight, I felt really good."
Doug Fister (4-9) went 6 1/3 frames in the start, allowing five runs -- two earned -- on six hits. He also struck out six and walked one.
"They did what I wanted them to do, put it on the ground," Fister said. "Unfortunately, it went in a couple of holes."
Getting the call for the Mariners tonight will be right-hander David Pauley, who is 2-4 with a 3.70 ERA. Pauley won his second straight start on Wednesday in Baltimore, as he surrendered four runs and five hits in six innings.
This will be Pauley's second-ever start against the Red Sox. He pitched parts of two seasons with the Red Sox, and is 0-2 lifetime with an 11.57 ERA at Fenway.
The Red Sox are still waiting to hear from Tigers outfielder Johnny Damon on whether or not he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to rejoin the team. Damon, who helped the Red Sox win the 2004 World Series, was claimed off waivers by Boston on Monday and has until Wednesday to make a decision. However, he has stated that he is leaning towards staying with Detroit.
Boston has won three of its five meetings with the Mariners this season.