Tuesday's Red Sox-Rays matchups: John Lackey vs. Erik Bedard

April 29, 2014 - 4:43 am

The Red Sox will look to rebound from their 7-1 loss to the Blue Jays on Sunday when they return home Tuesday to open a three-game series against the Rays, sending John Lackey to the mound to take on southpaw Erik Bedard. Despite pitching well, Lackey struggled to get run support in 2013, averaging 3.7 runs per game and ending the season with a 10-13 record. In 2014, however, the 35-year-old has seen his fortunes reversed, receiving the best run support, an average of five runs per game, on the Red Sox staff. Lackey also has seen his strikeout-to-walk ratio improve since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012. In 2013 Lackey had a 4.03 mark, the best of his career, while in 2014 he has a ratio of 4.86. The Texas native last played Wednesday against the Yankees, lasting eight innings and allowing one run. He struck out a season-high 11 batters while walking no one on 111 pitches. The game was his third win of the season and snapped a two-game losing streak. Lackey was modest after the game, crediting his performance due to a willingness to give the bullpen, which was overtaxed at the time, a night off. "I was thinking about trying to give the bullpen a rest," Lackey said after the game. "We've got some guys down there who've been worked pretty good the last week or so, and trying to get those guys a little bit of a breather and win a ball game." The two-time World Series champion has had some success against Tampa Bay, though not since he joined the Red Sox in 2010. Lackey'€™s overall record his 12-7 in 21 games, all starts, against the Rays, though 11 of those wins came when he was with the Angels, including a 6-0 run between 2004 and 2007. Lackey was subpar against the Rays in 2013, going 0-1 in two starts with an ERA of 8.10 and a WHIP of 2.100. He allowed nine runs on 19 hits, striking out five and walking two. Lackey only lasted a combined 10 innings in those two starts. Bedard, a former Red Sox pitcher, has seen time both in the rotation and bullpen in 2014, going 0-1 in three games, the last two being starts. In both starts, Bedard hasn'€™t lasted longer than the four innings, giving up four runs apiece in both games and walking five batters in his last start, a 9-7 loss to the Twins on April 24. The 35-year-old has been average against the Red Sox, going 5-5 in 14 games, 13 being starts, with an ERA of 4.68 and a WHIP 1.333. Bedard last started a game against his former team in 2013, lasting only three innings and giving up five runs. Rays vs. John Lackey (RHP) Evan Longoria (34 plate appearances): .323 AVG/.382 OBP/.613 SLG, 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 5 RBIs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts Ben Zobrist (33): .407/.515/.519, 3 doubles, 4 RBIs, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts David DeJesus (27): .250/.280/.250, 2 RBIs, 4 strikeouts Matthew Joyce (21): .333/.429/.667, 2 home runs, 6 RBIs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts Yunel Escobar (19): .553/.579/.667, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts James Loney (16): .250/.250/.500, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 1 strikeout Jose Molina (14): .167/.286/.167, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts Desmond Jennings (12): .091/.091/.091, 5 strikeouts Sean Rodriguez (6): .400/.400/.400 Logan Forsythe has two strikeouts and no hits in four plate appearances vs. Lackey. Brandon Guyer, Ryan Hanigan and Will Myers have not faced Lackey. Red Sox vs. Bedard (LHP) David Ortiz (34): .192/.353/.346, 1 double, 1 home run, 4 RBIs, 6 walks, 7 strikeouts Jonny Gomes (30): .150/.300/.280, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts Mike Napoli (21): .235/.381/.647, 1 double, 2 home runs, 6 RBIs, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts A.J. Pierzynski (21): .429/.429/.714, 2 home runs, 4 RBIs, 1 strikeout Dustin Pedroia (18): .188/.278/.313, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 1 strikeout Grady Sizemore (18): .000/.278/.000, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts Shane Victorino (9): .143/.333/.143, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts David Ross (4): .500/.500/2.000, 2 home runs, 2 RBIs Will Middlebrooks (2): .500/.500/2.000, 1 home run, 1 RBI Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley and Mike Carp have not faced Bedard.