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Wednesday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: John Lackey vs. Ubaldo Jimenez

04.02.14 at 8:18 am ET
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After falling to Baltimore on Opening Day, the Red Sox will send John Lackey to the mound against Ubaldo Jimenez on Wednesday as Boston continues its three-game series with the Orioles.

Lackey heads into his first start of the season in a vastly different light from last year. Instead of taking the mound for the first time in a year after going under the knife for Tommy John surgery, Lackey will get the nod with his last start having come the day the Red Sox clinched their World Series title. During that late-October start, Lackey gave up just one run on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings en route to Boston’s 6-1 championship win.

“I just feel healthy, more than anything,” Lackey said. “There was more confidence not having to worry about how I felt physically. I just had to worry about executing pitches.

“For the most part last year I felt good. It was something [where] I didn’t have to deal with a whole lot of extra treatment and get into a normal routine and perform. I don’€™t know if you ever figure everything out, totally. You’€™re always still learning. But I feel I’m in a good place physically, and when I’m healthy I feel like I know how to pitch.”

The 35-year-old righty heads into Wednesday’€™s game after one of the worst spring trainings of his career as he gave up 13 earned runs over 18 2/3 innings for a 6.27 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. After giving up five earned runs in back-to-back appearances this spring, though, Lackey finished out March by blanking the Twins for 6 1/3 innings.

The last time Lackey faced off against the Orioles was on Sept. 19, 2013, when he hurled a complete game. The veteran pitcher gave up just one run — a solo home run by Adam Jones — on two hits while fanning eight batters during the start. Lackey, overall, carries a 13-5 record with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP against Baltimore.

Unlike Lackey, who is in his fifth season with Boston, Jimenez is making his first start with his current team after he signed as a free agent with Baltimore in February. The 30-year-old Jimenez spent the previous three seasons with the Indians.

In his first spring with the Orioles, Jimenez put together a 5.28 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP in 15 1/3 innings over four starts. Jimenez has not faced off against the Red Sox since April 16, 2013, when Boston defeated the Indians 7-2 the day after the Boston Marathon attacks. Jimenez lasted just 1 2/3 innings as he gave up seven runs on two hits and five walks. Over the course of his career, Jimenez has started just four games against the Red Sox and has accumulated a 1-2 record with an 11.72 ERA.

Red Sox vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (RHP)

A.J. Pierzynski (17 plate appearances): .235 AVG/ .235 OBP/ .529 SLG, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts

Jonny Gomes (14): .417/.500/.917, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (11): .500/.545/.600, 1 double, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Shane Victorino (10): .429/.600/.429, 3 walks

Will Middlebrooks (7): .333/.429/.500, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Daniel Nava (7): .500/.571/1.000, 3 doubles, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

David Ortiz (6): .000/.167/.000, 1 walk. 1 strikeout

Mike Napoli (4): .750/.750/1.750, 1 double, 1 HR, 1 RBI

David Ross (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 RBI, 1 walk

Orioles vs. John Lackey (RHP)

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

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

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

Nelson Cruz (31): .241/.290/.276, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts

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

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

Manny Machado (15): .400/.400/.867, 1 double, 2 HR, 4 RBIs

Nolan Reimold (11): .200/.182/.200, 3 RBIs, 2 strikeouts

David Lough (4): .333/.500/.333, 1 RBI, 1 walk

Ryan Flaherty has one strikeout in three plate appearances vs. Lackey.

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