A crazy weekend in Anaheim will come to a close on Sunday when the Boston Red Sox battle the LA Angels of Anaheim in the rubber match of a three-game set.
The Angels scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to force extra innings and Josh Hamilton hit a walk-off two-run home run in the 11th to lift the Angels to victory on Saturday.
The Red Sox had a 7-3 lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning. Alex Wilson came in to close out the game but after striking out the first batter he would load the bases.
Koji Uehara was then brought in but he promptly gave up a pair of singles that brought in three runs. Howie Kendrick then stepped to the plate with runners on the corners and hit a ground ball to third base. Brandon Snyder fielded the ball cleanly but his throw to second base was off the mark, allowing the game- tying run to score.
Hamilton, who hit one of the RBI singles in the ninth inning, would then give the Angels the win two innings later when he homered to right field off of Craig Breslow. Kendrick and Mike Trout would also homer for the Angels, who bounced back from a 6-2 loss to Boston in Friday's series opener.
Daniel Nava went 4-for-6 with a pair of runs scored and Jarrod Saltalamacchia was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI for Boston in the losing effort. The Red Sox had a five-game winning streak snapped in the loss.
Boston manager John Farrell will hope the surprising season for John Lackey continues on Sunday when the right-hander makes the start against the team he spent the first eight years of his career with.
Lackey was nothing but a disappointment for Red Sox fans in his first two seasons with the team and then missed the entire 2012 campaign while recovering from injury.
In 2013, Lackey has looked more like the pitcher Boston hoped it was getting when he signed a five-year deal in the 2010 offseason. Entering Sunday, Lackey is 6-5 with an ERA of 2.81. That ERA is second among Boston starters behind only Clay Buchholz, who has been sidelined due to injury for the last few weeks.
Lackey has put together a number of strong starts recently as he has gone at least seven innings while allowing two runs or fewer in each of his last four starts. Lackey pitched a season-high eight innings and allowed just one run on six hits in a 4-1 win over San Diego on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old right-hander will be making just his sixth career start against the Angels, the team that drafted him in 1999. In the previous five starts against the Angels, Lackey is 4-1 with an ERA of 4.32.
Another pitcher who has been heating up of late will take the mound to oppose Lackey when perennial ace Jered Weaver gets the call for the Angels.
Weaver has been slowed by injury this season but that hasn't seemed to phase him in his last two starts. In both efforts Weaver pitched seven innings while limiting the opposition to a single run.
A 20-game winner a year ago, Weaver is just 2-4 on the season with an ERA of 3.79. The lack of production looks like it may have just been a result of lingering injury issues based on his recent success.
Weaver has not pitched against Boston this season but certainly has a familiarity with the Red Sox. In 13 career starts, Weaver is 3-5 with an ERA of 4.31 against the Red Sox.
Boston owns a 3-2 edge in the season series with the Angels, who swept the season series a year ago (6-0).