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Monday’s Red Sox-Indians matchups: John Lackey vs. Justin Masterson

06.02.14 at 8:47 am ET
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The Red Sox begin a three-game road series against the Indians on Monday when they send John Lackey to the mound against Justin Masterson.

Lackey (6-3, 3.27 ERA) has been Boston’s most reliable pitcher in what has otherwise been an inconsistent season for the Sox’€™ starting rotation. He’€™s had a quality start in seven of his last eight outings, and posted a 2.56 ERA in his five starts in May.

Lackey earned his third shutout of the season in a 4-0 win over the Braves on Wednesday. It was the Red Sox‘€™ first shutout win of 2014. The right-hander scattered eight hits and struck out nine batters for the third time this year, while not allowing a walk. Lackey hasn’t walked a batter in a start in which he’€™s fanned nine or more this season.

“It’s been somewhat of a sign that he’€™s been all year for us,” manager John Farrell  said after the game. “[He'€™s had] a number of starts where he’€™s not walked people. He’€™s had a very good fastball with some swings and misses, and he had another shutout here tonight. Just a high number of strikes. He was able to get a strikeout in some key spots, particularly to [B.J. Upton]. He set the tone here tonight.”

Monday will be Lackey’€™s first start against the Indians since May 24, 2013. He gave up an unearned run on two hits, three walks and eight strikeouts over seven innings that night in an 8-1 Red Sox win. Lackey is 7-7 in 17 career starts against the Indians with a 3.98 ERA.

Masterson (2-4, 5.21 ERA) has seen a significant drop off in his performance so far this season after a strong 2013 in which he went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA. The former Red Sox prospect has been one of Cleveland’€™s least reliable pitchers this season. Just five of his 12 outings have been quality starts,and he’s had his share of clunkers mixed in, especially as of late. The right-hander is 0-3 with an 8.84 ERA in his last four starts.

Masterson’€™s last start was cut short by a rain delay. The 29-year-old held the White Sox to one run on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts, but left with a 1-0 deficit after the third inning due to a nearly two-hour delay. Masterson took the loss for the Indians.

“[Masterson] had thrown a lot of pitches, but he managed to kind of get out of there with just the one [run against him],” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said after the game. “So that was encouraging because their guy also had to come out of the game. And the way he’s throwing, you feel OK about it.”

Masterson lost both of his starts against the Red Sox last season, allowing a combined nine runs on 17 hits over 11 innings. Masterson is 3-3 with a 4.23 ERA in seven career starts against the Sox.

Red Sox vs. Masterson (RHP)

A.J. Pierzynski (39 plate appearances): .389 AVG/.395 OBP/.500 SLG, 4 doubles, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (20): .211/.250/.211, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

David Ortiz (18): .267/.389/.467, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

Mike Carp (9): .444/.444/1.222, 1 HR, 1 triple, 2 doubles, 4 RBIs, 2 strikeouts

Daniel Nava (9): .500/.667/.667, 1 double, 2 RBIs

Grady Sizemore (4): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

David Ross (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Jonny Gomes struck out in his lone plate appearance.

Indians vs. Lackey (RHP)

Jason Giambi (47 plate appearances): .325 AVG/.426 OBP/.600 SLG, 3 HR, 2 doubles, 7 RBIs, 5 walks, 5 strikeouts

Asdrubal Cabrera (25): .174/.240/.304, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

David Murphy (23): .368/.455/.579, 1 triple, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts

Jason Kipnis (6): .250/.500/.500, 1 double, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Michael Brantley (5): .400/.400/.600, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Michael Bourn: (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Lonnie Chisenhall (3): .000/.000/.000

Read More: Cleveland Indians, john lackey, justin masterson, Red Sox
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