Tonight in MLB: Lackey aims for 4th straight win

Tonight in MLB: Lackey aims for 4th straight win
July 7, 2013, 10:15 am
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John Lackey is 6-5 with a 2.81 ERA this season. (USA Today Images)

The Phillies have lost Ryan Howard to injury and were routed, 13-4, in the second game of a 10-game stretch that could decide their season.

In other news, Cliff Lee and Domonic Brown were named to the National League All-Star team on Saturday.

Now, here are a few MLB games to keep an eye on Sunday:

Red Sox at Angels, 8:05 p.m.
After making a name for himself with the Los Angeles Angels, John Lackey failed to meet expectations in his first few seasons with the Boston Red Sox.

He's continuing to make up for lost time.

Lackey aims for a fourth consecutive victory as the visiting Red Sox conclude a three-game set Sunday night against Los Angeles, which tries to build on a thrilling win.

Lackey (6-5, 2.81 ERA) failed to approach the All-Star form and big-game reputation he earned with the Angels in his first two years with Boston, going 26-23 with a 5.26 ERA in 2010 and '11. He missed all of 2012 while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The right-hander, however, leads the Red Sox rotation with a 4.39 strikeout-to-walk ratio and owns a career-low ERA (see full preview).

Dodgers at Giants, 4:10 p.m.
Although the Los Angeles Dodgers have just boosted their rotation, Clayton Kershaw already gives them an excellent chance to win every time he takes the mound - especially against the San Francisco Giants.

Kershaw, who owns a lower ERA against the Giants than any other NL team, looks to win his third straight start Sunday at AT&T Park.

Los Angeles (41-45) made a major move Saturday by acquiring right-hander Ricky Nolasco from Miami in exchange for three minor league pitchers. Nolasco should bolster a rotation anchored by Kershaw (7-5, 1.93 ERA), who leads the majors in ERA and opponent batting average (.189) (see full preview).

Pirates at Cubs, 2:20 p.m.
Though he has never called Wrigley Field home, the Pittsburgh Pirates' A.J. Burnett has always made himself comfortable at the Friendly Confines.

Set to come off the disabled list Sunday, Burnett tries to win a sixth consecutive start at Wrigley as the Pirates conclude a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs.

After missing the last month with a Grade 1 tear in his right calf, Burnett (4-6, 3.12 ERA), who was injured during routine running drills, is ready to make his much-anticipated return (see full preview).

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