Lackey will be on the mound when the Angels complete a three-game series with the struggling Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Tropicana Field.
Anaheim has been hampered by injuries and inconsistent starting pitching all season. Jarrod Washburn and Bartolo Colon are the only two Angels starters with winning records. But Washburn, who is 10-5, has been on the disabled list since July 26 with a strained rib cage ligament.
Despite its pitching woes, Anaheim is only two games behind Oakland in the AL West and 1 1/2 games back of Boston and Texas for the wild card.
Lackey, who is 9-10 with a 4.84 ERA, has struggled through an inconsistent season. The right-hander went 4-1 in July before cooling off with an 0-1 record and 7.13 ERA in three August starts.
He allowed three runs and seven hits over 5 1-3 innings, but did not receive a decision in Anaheim’s 5-3 loss to Detroit on Friday.
“I felt like I had some of the best stuff I’ve had all year,” Lackey said. “My breaking ball felt good and my changeup was good, but they put together a couple of good at-bats against me.”
Lackey has pitched well against the Devil Rays during his career, going 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA in five starts.
The Devil Rays are 15-27 since climbing a season-high two games above .500 (40-38) on July 3.
Colon pitched into the ninth inning for his seventh victory in eight starts, and Vladimir Guerrero homered and drove in two runs as the Angels held on for a 6-4 victory over Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
Guerrero went 2-for-5, making him 11-for-33 with four homers and 13 RBIs in his career at Tropicana Field. He put the Angels up 1-0 with his 26th homer of the season in the first inning.
The Devil Rays were able to scratch out three runs in the ninth inning before their comeback fell short.
Tampa Bay has lost seven of eight overall. The Devil Rays are 1-5 against Anaheim this season.