Monday’s Red Sox-Astros matchups: John Lackey vs. Brett Oberholtzer

August 05, 2013 - 8:28 am
John Lackey has faced the Astros before -- as recently as April 28, in fact -- but when he faces off against Houston on Monday night at Minute Maid Park, it will be a little different. Only four batters from that Sunday afternoon game at Fenway still are on the Astros roster, meaning Lackey will have only slightly more history against the opponent than his opposition, rookie left-hander Brett Oberholtzer. The last month and a half has treated Lackey (7-8, 3.23 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) very well outside of a two-start stretch toward the end of July. In all nine starts since June 15, Lackey has gone more than six innings, including his last time out against the Mariners. On Wednesday, he went seven strong while allowing three earned runs on eight hits and a walk for his 13th quality start in 19 tries this season. Lackey was overshadowed that night by a number of other plays and players, however, particularly after Stephen Drew ended the five-hour affair with a walkoff single in the bottom of the 15th inning. Lackey'€™s only other recent outing against his Monday foe was that April 28 date, a 6-1 Red Sox win. The Astros struggled to the tune of one run on five hits and two walks in the 6-foot-6 righty'€™s six innings in the finale of a four-game Red Sox sweep. The four players still with Houston -- Jose Altuve, Matt Dominguez, Jason Castro and Robbie Grossman -- were a combined 2-for-11 with one walk and one strikeout. Back then, Oberholtzer was in Triple-A Oklahoma City'€™s rotation, which is where he stayed until the Astros called him up in early July. He has pitched in only four major league games -- three relief appearances and one start -- and owns a 3.77 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 14 1/3 innings. His only start was of the emergency variety, Wednesday against the Orioles in place of Erik Bedard. Houston picked up an 11-0 win as Oberholtzer collected his first major league win after a dominant seven innings of shutout ball featuring three hits, no walks and six strikeouts. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 234 pounds, the 24-year-old Oberholtzer was originally an eighth-round selection in the 2008 MLB draft by the Braves. Atlanta shipped him to the Astros in July 2011 in the deal that sent Michael Bourn to the Braves. Red Sox vs. Oberholtzer (LHP) No Red Sox have faced Oberholtzer. Astros vs. Lackey (RHP) Jose Altuve (3 plate appearances): .000 BA/.000 OBP/.000 SLG Jason Castro (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk Matt Dominguez (3): .333/.333/.333 Robbie Grossman (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout No other Astros have faced Lackey.
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