The Red Sox and the Angels have two more games to go this week. Here are the lineups:
RED SOX (13-14)
Pitching: RHP John Lackey (2-1, 4.50).
Pitching: RHP Joel Pineiro (2-3, 5.76).
Game time: 7:10 p.m.
State of the Sox: The Red Sox have won the first two games of the series, scoring 22 runs on 31 hits, 17 of them for extra-bases. They’re now 7-8 at Fenway Park.
Old friends: John Lackey will be facing the Angels for the first time. He was drafted by Los Angeles in 1999 and spent eight years in the majors with the Angels, winning 102 games. The only Angels he has faced before are Torii Hunter (9 of 34), Hideki Matsui (8 of 28) and Bobby Abreu (5 of 25).
The Wall Street Journal wrote that Lackey “has struggled” for the Sox and referred to him as a “dud.” Well, outside of his poor start against Tampa Bay on April 19 when he allowed eight runs in 3.1 innings, Lackey has a 2.36 ERA. The Red Sox are 2-3 in his starts and his ERA+ of 98 is pretty close to league average.
Triple trouble: The Red Sox and the Angels have the fewest triples in the majors with one each. The Sox had theirs on Opening Day when Kevin Youkilis rattled a ball around the right field corner off CC Sabathia.
Double your pleasure: The Sox had 13 doubles in the first two games of the series. The Sox are third in the majors with 67 doubles.
In a pinch: Mike Lowell is 2 for 3 with two walks, two doubles and two RBI as a pinch hitter this season.
Hot hitters: J.D. Drew is 11 of his last 21 with seven RBI, seven runs scored and six extra-base hits. Going further back, he is 18 of 48 with 15 RBI, hitting safely in 11 of 12 games. … Youkilis is 5 of 10 with six runs scored, four walks and there extra-base hits. … Marco Scutaro is 13 of his last 36.
Starting out: Red Sox starters are 4-1 with a 3.04 ERA in the last seven games.
On the iPod right now: Ain’t That Peculiar by Marvin Gaye.
Back with much more later on.
UPDATE, 3:15 p.m.: The Sox are taking optional early batting practice now and there’s a big turnout. David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jason Varitek, Darnell McDonald, Bill Hall and Mike Cameron.
Now before you go get all up in arms about anybody being here, know that everybody has different routines. Some guys want to hit less, or lift before games or run or whatever. More hitting is not necessarily what works for everybody.
Meanwhile, Kevin Millar has decided to keep playing and joined the St. Paul Saints.
UPDATE, 3:29 p.m.: Ellsbury is in the cage now. He’s taking swings without any apparent discomfort given how he’s following through.