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Thursday’s Red Sox-Angels matchups: Jon Lester vs. Zack Greinke

08.30.12 at 9:27 am ET
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Jon Lester

The Red Sox finish their three-game set against the Angels on Thursday as Jon Lester gets the start.

Lester’s season has aligned perfectly with Boston’s disappointing year as he’s 8-10 with a 4.98 ERA. However, he seems to have turned it around lately, winning three straight since Aug. 12. August has been by far his best month at 3-2 with a 3.12 ERA, as he has finished at least the sixth inning in all of his starts this month.

In his last outing on Friday, Lester earned his eighth win by going seven innings and allowing only three runs on six hits in a 4-3 win over Kansas City. It was the first time he had gone back-to-back starts while completing at least seven innings since June 22 and 27.

The lefty’s career record vs. the Angels is an impressive 4-1 despite having a 4.20 ERA in seven starts. He’s also 2-0 in Angel Stadium. The current Angels lineup is somewhat familiar with him as five players have more than 10 at-bats vs him in their careers. Maicer Izturis and Torrii Hunter have the most success against him out of that group and are 5-for-11 and 5-for-12, respectively.

The Angels will send deadline acquistion Zack Greinke to the mound opposite Lester.

Greinke was acquired from the Brewers in July to help bolster the starting rotation, however he hasn’t been able to return to his early season form. Currently he’s 2-2 with a 5.22 ERA in six starts with Los Angeles, but overall this season, he’s 11-5 with a 3.87 ERA. Only two of his six starts with the Angels have been of the quality start variety.

His last outing on Friday against the Tigers was the best he’s had in an Angels uniform. He went 7 2/3 innings allowing only one run, a solo shot to Miguel Cabrera in the eighth inning, on five hits helping him earn his second win in Los Angeles.

Despite having a 1-4 record against Boston in his career, he does hold a great 2.88 ERA over five starts. However since he hasn’t faced Boston in two years, he’s not that familiar with this Red Sox lineup. Scott Podsednik has the most at-bats vs. him in his career with 37 and is an impressive 17-for-34. He’s the only Red Sox hitter with more than two hits against Greinke.

Red Sox vs. Greinke (RHP)

Scott Podsednik (37 plate appearances): .500 BA/.541 OBP/.735 SLG, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (14): .222/.429/.333, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 1 strikeout

David Ortiz (13): .154/.154/.308, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 5 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (7): .286/.286/.429, 1 double, 1 RBI

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (7): .143/.143/.286, 1 double, 3 strikeouts

James Loney (6): .000/.167/.000, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Angels vs. Lester (LHP)

Vernon Wells (41 plate appearances): .182 BA/.317 OBP/.333 SLG, 2 doubles, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 6 walks, 6 strikeouts

Howie Kendrick (14): .231/.286/.308, 1 double, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Erick Aybar (13): .300/.462/.300, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout

Torii Hunter (12): .417/.417/.583, 2 doubles, 2 strikeouts

Maicer Izturis (12): .455/.500/.727, 3 doubles, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Alberto Callaspo (9): .143/.333/.286, 1 double, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Mark Trumbo (5): .200/.200/.800, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Kendrys Morales (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 RBI

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