The way John Lackey has pitched this season, he should be challenging for the AL lead in wins. Instead, he’s left a lot of quality starts empty-handed.
Currently riding an eight-start unbeaten streak but with just three wins in that span, Lackey will be on the mound for the Los Angeles Angels when they continue their four-game series with the Texas Rangers.
Prior to throwing seven terrific innings in a 7-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, Lackey had allowed just six earned runs in his previous 18 1-3 innings. However, he came away with no wins because the Angels, despite winning all three games, managed a total of 10 runs.
“I was more concerned about handling my own business, trying to put up zeros and giving us a chance to score first,” said Lackey, who is 6-2 overall and 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA during his unbeaten streak.
“We have plenty of good hitters, so I knew we were going to be OK.”
Lackey allowed three hits, struck out nine and walked just one before departing. He earned glowing reviews from manager Mike Scioscia.
“The way John pitched in 2002 is certainly something everyone saw as his potential,” Scioscia said. “And when you piggyback this season with the way he pitched the second half of last year, you have to be excited (about) where his career is going.
“John’s got a tremendous competitive streak in him. He’s still young (26), he’s got a lot of experience and he’s using that to become more consistent. I think the expectations I think were off the charts coming off of the 2002 World Series. I mean, how many rookies win Game 7 of a World Series?”
Winners of eight straight and 10 of their last 11 games, the Angels have put some distance between themselves and the second-place Rangers, who have lost eight of nine.
Anderson belted a tie-breaking grand slam in the 11th inning as the Angels kept their roll going with a 5-1 win Tuesday.
Michael Young homered for the Rangers’ lone run. Young has hit in 15 of his last 16 games, batting .371 (26-for-70) with 13 runs in that span.