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Sunday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: John Lackey vs. Chris Tillman

09.29.13 at 11:11 am ET
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John Lackey will attempt to cap off the season with a win against the Orioles and Chris Tillman on Sunday in the regular-season finale at Camden Yards.

John Lackey

John Lackey

The Red Sox already have secured the No. 1 seed in the AL and home-field advantage, so Sunday’s matchup has no postseason relevance.

Lackey (10-13, 3.52 ERA), largely viewed as a poor investment after signing a five-year, $82.5 million contract and posting a 5.26 ERA in his first 61 starts before sitting out the entire 2012 season following Tommy John surgery, makes his final start in a surprisingly successful season.

His 3.52 ERA is the best figure since 2007 during his apex with the Angels. Lackey’s 1.157 WHIP represents a career low, and his 1.9 BB/9 ratio ranks fourth in the AL.

Lackey looks for a positive finale to an erratic month of September on Sunday. He dazzled in a Sept. 19 start vs. Baltimore (nine innings, one run) and turned in a solid outing (7 1/3 innings, three runs) against the Tigers at Fenway Park on Sept. 2. But he struggled against the Yankees on Sept. 7, allowing a season-high seven runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Lackey took a loss in his last outing at Coors Field on Tuesday. He allowed four runs, inluding three home runs, in six innings.

“Not our best night from the mound,” said manager John Farrell, after the start. “I thought John made a couple of mistakes that he had to pay for, particularly in a ball park where you put the ball in the air and it’s going to carry.”

In four starts against the Orioles this season, Lackey possesses a 3.34 ERA and a 1.011 WHIP in 29 2/3 innings. He threw a two-hit, one-run, eight-strikeout complete game in his most recent bout with Baltimore.

Tillman (16-7, 3.62 ERA) began his career with the Orioles inauspiciously — evidenced by a 5.58 ERA in his first three seasons and 36 starts — but he finally flashed the potential that made him a part of the massive Erik Bedard trade that sent outfielder Adam Jones, Tillman and three other prospects from the Mariners organization to Baltimore.

Tillman posted a 2.93 ERA in 86 innings last season. This season, Tillman proved that 2012 was not an anomaly. He surpassed 200 innings for the first time in his five-year career, and amassed a 16-7 record and a 3.62 ERA, along with a 1.207 WHIP.

In his last four starts, Tillman has lasted at least seven innings in each, and holds a 3.10 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 29 innings. One of those starts includes a Sept. 19 matchup vs. Lackey and the Red Sox. Lackey outdueled Tillman and snagged the complete-game victory, but Tillman pitched well. He allowed three runs and seven hits over seven innings, striking out eight.

In his last start, Tillman ended up with a no-decision on Tuesday despite allowing just one run in seven innings to the Blue Jays. He also tied a season high with nine strikeouts.

Tillman has been a thorn in the side of the Red Sox in the past two seasons. Last year, he had a 1.93 ERA in three starts. This season, in five starts and 32 1/3 innings, he owns a 1.95 ERA against Boston.

Chris Tillman

Chris Tillman

Red Sox vs. Tillman (RHP)

Dustin Pedroia (30 plate appearences): .296/.333/.370, 2 doubles, 4 RBIs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Daniel Nava (21): .235/.381/.353, 2 doubles, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (19): .105/.105/.211, 2 doubles, 7 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (18): .222/.222/.278, 1 double, 4 strikeouts

David Ortiz (17): .000/.235/.000, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts

Shane Victorino (12): .364/.417/.636, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Mike Napoli (12): .273/.333/.273, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

Stephen Drew (11): .333/.455/.889, 1 HR, 1 triple, 3 RBIs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Will Middlebrooks (11): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Mike Carp (9): .125/.222/.125, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jackie Bradley (5): .400/.400/.600, 1 double, 2 strikeouts

Ryan Lavarnway (3): .000/.000/.000

Jonny Gomes (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

David Ross (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

John McDonald (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Xander Bogaerts, Brock Holt, Brandon Snyder and Quintin Berry have not faced Tillman.

Orioles vs. Lackey (RHP)

Nick Markakis (60): .333/.400/.444, 1 triple, 4 doubles, 4 RBIs, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts

Brian Roberts (45): .286/.333/.333, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts

Adam Jones (44): .238/.250/.500, 3 HRs, 1 triple, 6 RBIs, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts

Chris Davis (32): .367/.406/.667, 2 HRs, 3 doubles, 6 RBIs, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts

Matt Wieters (30): .167/.167/.167, 2 RBIs, 5 strikeouts

Dan Johnson (26): .200/.385/.350, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 6 walks, 3 strikeouts

J.J. Hardy (21): .167/.286/.167, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

Nate McLouth (15): .143/.200/.286, 1 triple, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Alexi Casilla (11): .091/.091/.091, 2 strikeouts

Michael Morse (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Ryan Flaherty (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Henry Urrutia (3)L .000/.333/.000, 1 walk

Danny Valencia (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Chris Dickerson (2): .000/.000/.000

Steve Clevenger, Chris Snyder, Jonathan Schoop, Steve Pearce and Jason Pridie have not faced Lackey.

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