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Lackey sharp, but Angels blank Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  July 8, 2013 01:10 AM

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Red Sox have scored the most runs in the majors, so when one of their starters goes seven innings and allows two runs, that's an easy win.

Not for John Lackey on Sunday night. Jered Weaver and three relievers combined on a five-hit shutout in a 3-0 Los Angeles victory.

Weaver went 6.1 innings, giving up five hits. He walked two and struck out six. Lackey went seven innings and also gave up five hits — but two were solo home runs by Mike Trout and Hank Conger.

Lackey walked one, struck out nine and threw 116 pitches, his most this season.

“Just one of those deals. Weave pitched really good. It’s tough.” Lackey said.

The Red Sox lost two of three games in the series. They have lost eight of their last 11 games on the road and start a four-game series at Seattle on Monday night.

Jon Lester, who flew ahead of the team, opposes Felix Hernandez on Monday night at Safeco Field.

Facing King Felix will not help an offense that has gone 12 innings without scoring. The Sox were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position on Sunday and left seven men on base.

Lackey has pitched far better than his 6-6 record would indicate. He has a 2.80 earned run average and 88 strikeouts over 93.1 innings.

Lackey has gone at least seven innings in his last five starts. He also has a 2.29 ERA in his last 10 along with a 1.02 WHIP. After starting the season as the fifth starter, Lackey is now the most reliable member of the rotation.

“John’s pitching as well as he has, I think, than any point in time in his career,” Sox manger John Farrell said. “Not to shortchange anything he’s done early on, but he’s in a very good place right now.”

Lackey agreed with that assessment.

“Probably the best first half I’ve had,” he said. “Some things have been frustrating. But it is what it is.”

Also:

• Jose Iglesias was 2 for 11 in the series and is hitting .395. Remarkably, it’s his first time under .400 in 45 games this season.

• Shane Victorino is feeling better. But he said only "I hope" when asked if his hamstring would allow him to play on Monday.

• In three starts against the Angels at Angel Stadium, Lackey has allowed four earned runs on 18 hits over 22.1 innings and struck out 19. He won the first two games but could not overcome Weaver.

“There’s no animosity or anything like that,” Lackey said. “I had a great time here when I played here. Just trying to win a ball game.”

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