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Red Sox Vs. Indians Lineups: John Lackey Aims To Maintain Momentum Against Cleveland

It's been a good few weeks for John Lackey, who has won his last four games thanks to some solid pitching.

What he has not been helped by is the defense. In this four game period, Lackey has given up seven earned runs, about three of which are really his fault. Marco Scutaro cost Lackey out-after-out in the first inning of the Rays game, leading to three runs (two earned) which should never have been, and a combination of Drew Sutton, Yamaico Navarro, and Kevin Youkilis led to an equal amount of damage against the Royals.

So it's with some optimism and hope that the Sox enter tonight's game with Lackey on the mound and a full lineup behind him.

Boston Red Sox (66-40) 

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. David Ortiz, DH
  6. Carl Crawford, LF
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  8. Josh Reddick, RF
  9. Marco Scutaro, SS
The Indians' lineup is a bit less full, though it still features the 3-4 combo of Asdrubal Cabrera and Travis Hafner.

Cleveland Indians (53-52) 
  1. Michael Brantley, LF
  2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
  3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  4. Travis Hafner, DH
  5. Carlos Santana, C
  6. Kosuke Fukudome, RF
  7. Matt LaPorta, 1B
  8. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
  9. Ezequiel Carrera, CF
Pitching Matchup: John Lackey (9-8, 6.20 ERA) vs. Josh Tomlin (11-5, 4.01 ERA)

Lackey's recent efforts are covered above, but there are some extra things to consider. The Indians shouldn't be the best team to take advantage of Lackey's sudden tendency to pound the zone, since they have some of the lowest contact rates both in the zone and overall. They also have some guys with big numbers against right-handed pitchers, so Lackey will have to know who he can and can't mess with.

It was April 5 when the Sox put up just one run against Josh Tomlin in seven innings. For what it's worth, they're hitting a lot better these days. The righty doesn't walk many batters, but that's more because batters always seem to make contact when swinging at a pitch outside the zone. The Sox need to bring their patient approach to the plate today, and only swing when it's not just a strike, but the strike they want to hit.