The right-hander seeks to continue his dominance over the Athletics when the Los Angeles Angels continue a four-game series on Saturday night.
Lackey (1-0, 0.00 ERA) won his final three starts against the A’s in 2006, allowing a total of two runs and nine hits in 24 innings for a 0.75 ERA. He also struck out 26 while issuing just two walks. In 18 career starts versus Oakland, Lackey is 9-2 with a 2.89 ERA.
His win total is the most Lackey has recorded against another team.
“You’ve got to be able to give your team a chance to win when you don’t have your good stuff,” Lackey told the Angels’ official Web site. “If you can grind out a couple of those along the way, it really helps.”
Lackey looks to build off a solid start to 2007. He threw 96 pitches over five innings, but allowed one run and five hits with five strikeouts in a 4-1 home victory over Texas on Monday.
“I know John would like to get a little deeper in the game than he did against Texas, but he pitched very well,” manager Mike Scioscia said.
Though he’s now in his sixth season, Lackey has yet to win consecutive starts to open a season.
The Angels only needed one strong inning to earn their first win against the Athletics, 5-2 on Friday. Vladimir Guerrero continued his dominant start, hitting a three-run homer in the seventh inning.
Rookie Dustin Moseley allowed one run and five hits in six innings, and Francisco Rodriguez, who led the majors with a franchise-record 47 saves last year, pitched a perfect ninth for his third save of 2007.
“It was a good game until the hanging breaking ball to Vlad,” manager Bob Geren said on Athletics’ official Web site.
Guerrero is 9-for-18 with three home runs and nine RBIs this season and his tear could be troublesome for Oakland’s Dan Haren. Guerrero has hit .400 (8-for-20) with a homer and five RBIs against Haren, who seeks his first win.
Haren (0-1, 0.00) received his first Opening Day start Monday against Seattle, and gave up one unearned run and four hits over six innings of a 4-0 loss to Seattle.
“Sometimes you feel like the team that scores first is going to win the game, and it kind of felt like that (Monday),” Haren said.
Haren is 2-4 with a 5.09 ERA in seven starts against Los Angeles, losing three of his last four decisions. Haren did not receive a decision in his previous appearance against the Angels as he allowed three runs and eight hits over six innings in a 7-6 loss on Sept. 30.
The Athletics might have to continue the series without oft-injured shortstop Bobby Crosby, who exited Friday’s game with back spasms. His status for Saturday is unknown. The 2004 AL Rookie of the Year, Crosby has played in a total of 180 games over the last two seasons due to ankle, back and rib cage injuries.