Wednesday's Red Sox-Orioles matchups: John Lackey vs. Bud Norris

August 28, 2013 - 4:45 am

It seems like John Lackey just can't catch a break these days. Despite being one of most consistent and solid members of the Boston starting rotation this season, the righty has struggled to pick up wins over the past few weeks, due in large part to a lack of run support. The Texan looks to buck his trend of bad luck on Wednesday as he will square off against the Orioles at Fenway Park. Right-hander Bud Norris will get the call for the Orioles. After missing all of last year following Tommy John surgery, Lackey has put together his best season in a Red Sox uniform, as he ranks second amongst Boston pitchers in ERA (3.17), innings pitched (147 2/3) and WHIP (1.18). Despite his impressive stats, Lackey has amassed an unimpressive 8-11 record, mostly due to the fact that he receives the lowest amount of run support of any Boston pitcher by far at 3.98 runs per game. In comparison, Ryan Dempster has received 6.32 runs per game, while Jon Lester ranks second at 5.67. Lackey's stretch of bad luck could best be exemplified by looking at his last five starts: Despite only giving up 12 earned runs over his last 34 2/3 innings, Lackey has only been able to muster a 1-3 record over that stretch. In his last start against the Dodgers on Friday, Lackey was excellent, as the righty went eight innings and only allowed two earned runs but was outdueled by Ricky Nolasco, who stymied the Red Sox for eight innings and only allowed two hits in what ended up being a 2-0 LA win. Lackey, who only allowed three hits in the contest, became the first Boston pitcher in over 13 years to lose a game despite pitching a complete game and surrendering three or fewer hits (Pedro Martinez on Aug. 8, 2000). "I want to win the game," Lackey said after the game. "I didn't come here for ERA. I came here to try and win a championship." Despite having an average career ERA against Baltimore (3.48), Lackey has accumulated an impressive 12-5 career record against the O's with a 1.27 WHIP. Lackey struggled in his last start against Baltimore on July 26, as the righty gave up five earned runs in 6 1/3 innings in what resulted in a 6-0 Orioles victory. Dealt from the Astros to Baltimore right before the July 31 trade deadline, Norris has had an up-and-down stint with the O's. While the big righty has amassed a 3-1 record in six starts with Baltimore, he also possesses a 5.53 ERA in those starts and has surrendered 34 hits in 27 2/3 innings. In his most recent effort on Friday, Norris easily had his worst start with the Orioles, as he allowed seven earned runs in just 4 2/3 inning against the A's, increasing his season ERA from 3.93 to 4.22. Norris has struggled against the Red Sox in his career with a record of 0-1 and a 5.25 ERA in two starts. In his last start against the Red Sox on April 28, Norris took the loss after giving up three earned runs in six innings of work. Orioles vs. Lackey (RHP) Nick Markakis (54 plate appearances): .354 BA/.426 OBP/.458 SLG, 3 doubles, 4 RBIs Brian Roberts (39): .263/.282/.316, 2 doubles, 1 RBI Adam Jones (37): .257/.270/.486, 1 triple, 2 home runs, 5 RBIs Chris Davis (25): .391/.440/.609, 2 doubles, 1 home run, 4 RBIs Matt Wieters (24): .208/.208/.208, 5 singles, 2 RBIs J.J. Hardy (15): .167/.333/.167, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts Alexi Casilla (11): .091/.091/.091, 1 single, 2 strikeouts Taylor Teagarden (9): .222/.222/.222, 5 strikeouts Manny Machado (7): .571/.571/1.143, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBIs Nate McLouth (7): .286/.286/.571, 1 triple, 1 strikeout Ryan Flaherty (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout Steve Pearce and Danny Valencia have not faced Lackey. Red Sox vs. Norris (RHP) Stephen Drew (15 plate appearances): .500 BA/.600 OBP/.833 SLG, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 3 RBIs Shane Victorino (8): .400/.625/.600, 1 double, 3 walks Jonny Gomes (6): .200/.333/.200, 1 RBI, 1 walk Dustin Pedroia (6): .333/.667/.667, 1 double, 1 RBI Jarrod Saltalamacchia (6): .333/.333/.333, 2 singles, 1 strikeout Jacoby Ellsbury (4): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout Mike Carp (3): 1.000/1.000/1.500, 1 single, 1 strikeout Will Middlebrooks (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 single, 1 strikeout Mike Napoli (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 single, 2 strikeouts Daniel Nava (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 double, 1 strikeout David Ortiz (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI David Ross (3): .667/.667/1.667, 1 home run, 1 RBI