Friday’s Red Sox-Astros matchups: John Lackey vs. Scott Feldman

July 11, 2014 - 7:05 am

The Red Sox will kick off their final series before the All-Star break when they travel to Houston to take on the Astros for a three-game set. John Lackey will take the mound for Boston in the series opener, facing off against righty Scott Feldman. At first glance, it would seem like Lackey (9-6, 3.84 ERA) put together a stellar performance during his last outing Saturday against the Orioles, striking out 11 Baltimore batters over 5 1/3 innings. However, the Boston right-hander surrendered 10 hits and five earned runs, taking the loss. "Honestly, it's about as good of stuff as I've had all year," Lackey said after the game, a 7-4 setback. "I'm still trying to figure out what happened, honestly. I don't know how I gave up five runs, to be honest with you. You've got to give their guys a lot of credit. Tough lineup. I made a couple of mistakes, and they hit a couple of balls out of the park." After posting an 8-4 record with a 2.96 ERA through his first 15 starts of the season, Lackey has hit a rough patch, allowing 16 earned runs in 14 innings (10.29 ERA) over his last three starts. Lackey pitched well in his last start against the Astros on Aug. 5, 2013, allowing two earned runs over six innings while fanning 10. In three career starts against Houston, Lackey is 1-1 with a 4.86 ERA. Feldman (4-5, 3.86 ERA) gave the Astros an opportunity to win in his last outing Saturday against the Angels, allowing two earned runs in six innings of work. However, the Astros could not hold a 5-2 lead, as Los Angeles scored eight runs in the eighth inning en route to an 11-5 victory. "That's a tough one," Feldman said after the game. "Hopefully, we don't have too many more like that, but it happened. It's baseball. I've probably been a part of a few innings like that myself. It's one of those things I've got to forget about it and come back tomorrow and try to win the game." Feldman was rocked in his last outing against Boston on Sept. 27, 2013, as the then-Orioles pitcher allowed eight earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. In 11 career appearances (five starts) against Boston, Feldman is 1-2 with a 5.86 ERA. Red Sox vs. Feldman (RHP) Mike Napoli (32 plate appearances): .414/.469/.655, 2 home runs, 7 RBIs Dustin Pedroia (17 plate appearances): .412/.412/.588, 1 home run, 2 RBIs David Ortiz (15): .250/.400/.750, 2 home runs, 7 RBIs Mike Carp (12): .364/.333/.455, 1 double, 1 RBI Stephen Drew (11): .444/.545/1.000, 1 home run, 4 RBIs Daniel Nava (5): .400/.400/1.000, 1 home run, 3 RBIs Jonny Gomes (4): .500/.750/.500, 1 single, 1 strikeout Xander Bogaerts has a walk and an RBI in two plate appearances against Feldman. Astros vs. Lackey (RHP)  Jose Altuve has one single and one strikeout in six plate appearances against Lackey. Jason Castro (6): .500/.667/.500, 2 singles, 2 walks Matt Dominguez has one single and one strikeout in six plate appearances against Lackey. Robbie Grossman (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts Jesus Guzman (5): .400/.400/1.200, 1 home run, 1 RBI Chris Carter has three strikeouts in three plate appearances against Lackey. L.J. Hoes (3): .667/.667/1.000, 1 double, 1 single Marwin Gonzalez (2): .000/.000/.000