John Lackey has struggled since winning Game 7 of the 2002 World Series.
The right-hander will try for his first win of this season as the Angels continue their three-game series with the Texas Rangers.
Lackey has been pounded in his first two starts this season, allowing 13 runs and 15 hits in nine innings.
However, he looked strong at times in his last start, when he allowed six runs, four earned, and six hits in 5 1-3 innings of Thursday’s 6-2 loss to Seattle. He gave up one hit through the first three innings and one run and two hits through five.
“I think we saw a lot of good things from John early in the game,” manager Mike Scioscia said.
Lackey, who lasted just 3 2-3 innings while giving up seven earned runs to Texas in his first start April 10, went 9-4 with a 3.66 ERA in his rookie year of 2002. However, he was 10-16 with a 4.63 ERA last season, but pitched a shutout in his final game of the season against Seattle on Sept. 24.
“It’s never easy to accept losing,” Lackey said. “You start accepting losing, you’re going to (stink).”
Texas starter R.A. Dickey will also be looking to bounce back from a rough outing. The right-hander was pounded for nine earned runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings of last Wednesday’s 9-4 loss to the Oakland Athletics
“I was fighting my mechanics a little bit,” he said. “I wasn’t getting the counts where I felt comfortable throwing my split.”
Dickey, whose start was pushed back a day to keep Kenny Rogers on his normal schedule, allowed just three unearned runs and six hits in seven innings in his first start of the season, a 12-4 win over Anaheim on April 9.
“He struggled from the get go,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “That’s really uncharacteristic of him.
Nonetheless, Showalter expressed confidence in his starter.
“He’s going to pitch a lot more like he did (in the home opener) than he did in the second start.”
The Rangers beat the Angels 6-3 on Tuesday for their third win in five games.
Brad Fullmer, playing in his first game in Anaheim since leaving as a free agent in the offseason, homered and had two RBIs for the Rangers.
Benjie Molina homered and Erstad had two doubles for Anaheim, which has dropped four of five.