Friday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: John Lackey vs. Chris Archer

May 23, 2014 - 6:53 am

The Red Sox will kick off a five-game road trip on Friday, as Boston will travel down to St. Petersburg, Fla., to take on the Rays at Tropicana Field. John Lackey will get the nod for the Red Sox and face off against Chris Archer in the opener. Lackey (5-3, 4.01 ERA) struggled in his last start on May 17 against a potent Tigers lineup, allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. It was the first time that Lackey had given up more than two earned run in a start since April 18, when the Texan gave up 10 hits and six earned runs over 5 1/3 innings to the Orioles. "Just didn't get some locations there in the fifth inning,"€ Lackey said after the game. "That was pretty much the inning I'€™d like to take back. I just didn't locate some balls in that inning, for sure." Despite taking the loss on Saturday, Lackey set a career high with his 33rd straight start lasting at least five innings. Only Detroit'€™s Justin Verlander has a longer active streak among American League pitchers. Lackey turned in his finest performance of the season in his last start against the Rays on April 23, holding Tampa Bay to just one earned run over eight innings while striking out 11. In 22 career starts against the Rays, Lackey is 13-7 with a 4.27 ERA. Archer (3-2, 4.59 ERA) has struggled to pitch deep into games in the month of May, as the 25-year-old righty has yet to pitch a full six innings in his last four starts. While Archer only pitched 5 2/3 innings in his last outing on May 16 against the Angels, he also did not allow an earned run while only surrendering two hits. "€œEverything was on,"Archer said after the game. "€œI had the stuff to go much deeper into the game, and I wanted to do that, but walking away with a victory for the team and shutting out a good lineup, I'€™m not going to sit here and complain about it. ... I scuffled my last four games, but there'€™s only been positiveness sent my way." Archer struggled in his last start against Boston on May 1, allowing five walks and five earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. In four career starts against Boston, Archer is 1-2 with a 6.38 ERA. Red Sox vs. Archer (RHP)  Dustin Pedroia (11 plate appearances): .111 AVG/.182 OBP/.111 SLG, 2 RBIs, 3 strikeouts Mike Napoli (8): .143/.250/.143, 1 RBI, 4 strikeouts David Ortiz (8): .429/.500/.429, 3 singles, 5 RBIs Shane Victorino (6): .400/.500/.600, 1 double, 1 RBI A.J. Pierzynski (5): .200/.200/.200, 1 single Stephen Drew (4): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts Xander Bogaerts (2): .000/.500/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Jackie Bradley Jr. (2): .000/.500/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Mike Carp has one single in two plate appearances vs. Archer. Grady Sizemore has one walk in two plate appearances vs. Archer. Rays vs. Lackey (RHP) Evan Longoria (38): .294/.342/.559, 2 home runs, 6 RBIs David DeJesus (30): .231/.286/.231, 2 RBIs, 4 strikeouts Matthew Joyce (25): .318/.400/.591, 2 home runs, 6 RBIs Yunel Escobar (22): .444/.500/.556, 2 doubles, 3 walks James Loney (19): .263/.263/.526, 2 doubles, 3 RBI Desmond Jennings (16): .133/.133/.200, 1 double, 5 strikeouts Jose Molina (14): .167/.286/.167, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts Sean Rodriguez (6): .400/.400/.400, 2 singles Ryan Hanigan (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 single Wil Myers (3): .667/.667/1.000, 1 double, 1 strikeout Logan Forsythe has two strikeouts in four plate appearances vs. Lackey.