Sunday’s Red Sox-Tigers matchups: John Lackey vs. Anibal Sanchez

June 08, 2014 - 4:21 am

The stumbling Red Sox will close out their three-game series against the Tigers on Sunday night, sending John Lackey to the mound against Anibal Sanchez. Lackey (6-4, 3.28 ERA) turned in another solid start in his last appearance on the mound on June 2, as the Texas native held the Indians to just eight hits and three runs in a complete-game effort. Unfortunately for Lackey, he was bested on the hill by Indians pitcher Justin Masterson, who held the Red Sox scoreless on seven innings of work while hurling an immaculate inning in the fourth. At one point, the former Sox prospect threw 25 strikes in a row, helping his team to a 3-2 victory. "Lackey threw a great game,'€ said Indians manager Terry Francona after the game. "He threw [96] pitches in eight innings and we scratched a couple early and got another one and kind of hung on. He's one of the better pitchers right now. He's the Lackey of old." Lackey struggled in his last appearance against Detroit on May 17, surrendering nine hits and six runs in 5 1/3 innings of work in what eventually resulted in a 6-1 Detroit victory. In 13 career starts against the Tigers, Lackey is 6-4 with a 4.14 ERA. Sanchez (2-2, 2.15 ERA) turned in another great start against the Blue Jays on June 3, allowing just two hits and no earned runs over seven innings of work. Despite his dominant game on the mound, Sanchez left the game with a no-decision, as the contest was locked in a 0-0 tie until the ninth inning. In the final frame, Tigers closer Joe Nathan allowed a total of four earned runs over a third of a inning, leading to a 5-3 victory for the Blue Jays. Sanchez has been playing some of his best baseball as of late, but he has little to show for it. Over his last two starts, Sanchez has only allowed one run and five hits in 15 1/3 innings, but he did not earn the win in either game. "It's not personal," Sanchez said. "I think it's more for the team. If I pitch good or if I pitch bad, the result is for the team. We lost. That's the big thing. I go out and I try to do my best, I try to face the hitters, go deep, help the team gain some wins. But the result was not like that today." Sanchez'€™s last start against Boston came on May 18, as the ex-Red Sox prospect held his former club to just two earned runs while striking out three over five innings of work. In two career games (one start) against the Red Sox, Sanchez is 1-0 with a 7.71 ERA. Red Sox vs. Sanchez (RHP)  Stephen Drew (20 plate appearances): .278/.300/.389, 1 triple, 3 RBIs David Ross (12): .182/.250/.455, 1 home run, 2 RBIs Jonathan Herrera (9): .000/.125/.000, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts David Ortiz (6): .750/.833/2.500, 2 home runs, 4 RBIs Jonny Gomes (5): .250/.400/.500, 1 double, 1 walk Dustin Pedroia has one single in three plate appearances vs. Sanchez. Grady Sizemore has one single in three plate appearances vs. Sanchez. Xander Bogaerts has one single in two plate appearances vs. Sanchez. Jackie Bradley Jr. has one single in two plate appearances vs. Sanchez. Brock Holt has one strikeout in two plate appearances vs. Sanchez. A.J. Pierzynski (2): .000/.000/.000 Tigers vs. Lackey (RHP) Torii Hunter (61): .250/.311/.411, 2 home runs, 11 strikeouts Ian Kinsler (44): .421/.477/.842, 4 home runs, 9 RBIs Victor Martinez (34): .400/.471/.433, 1 double, 3 strikeouts Rajai Davis (31): .387/.387/.548, 1 triple, 9 strikeouts Miguel Cabrera (16): .400/.438/.867, 2 home runs, 4 RBIs Alex Avila (12): .111/.333/.222, 1 double, 1 RBI Austin Jackson (11): .400/.455/.600, 2 doubles, 3 strikeouts Don Kelly (6): .333/.333/.333, 2 singles, 1 strikeout Nick Castellanos (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 single, 1 strikeout Andrew Romine has three strikeouts in three plate appearances vs. Lackey.