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Red Sox send Lackey against Indians

(SportsNetwork.com) - John Lackey tries to string back-to-back wins together on Friday when the Boston Red Sox continue a four-game series with the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park.

After losing to Cleveland two starts ago, Lackey bounced back to beat Detroit on Sunday, as he held the Tigers to two earned runs in eight innings. He also struck out five and walked a batter to improve to 7-4 on the year to go along with a 3.18 ERA.

He's gone eight innings in each of his last two starts.

Lackey has faced the Tribe 18 times and is 7-8 against them with a 3.93 ERA.

Cleveland, meanwhile, will counter with righty Justin Masterson, who has won his last two starts, including one versus Boston and Lackey two outings ago. Masterson followed up seven scoreless innings against the Red Sox by beating Texas on Sunday, as he held them to a pair of runs in 5 2/3 innings to even his record at 4-4, while lowering his ERA to 4.61.

"Overall, I felt pretty good. We built off of what we did last start," Masterson said after the win against the Rangers. "I'd say probably when we got a little later into the game, we started dropping on the back side and getting underneath a few more balls than we had before."

Masterson is 4-3 with a 3.66 ERA in eight starts against the Red Sox.

Boston drew first blood in this series on Thursday, as David Ortiz and Brock Holt each drove in two runs to ignite an offensive breakout for Red Sox in a 5-2 win.

After mustering a mere one run during a three-game series in Baltimore that concluded a 2-7 road trip -- which began with three losses to the Indians -- the Red Sox totaled 12 hits to support 7 2/3 effective innings from Jon Lester.

Ortiz swatted a two-run homer, Holt doubled in a pair as part of a 2-for-4 night and Daniel Nava finished with three hits in the victory.

"We're hitting the ball hard," said Holt. "We were able to get some two-out hits today."

Lester (7-7) did his part as well, scattering eight hits while holding Cleveland to two runs, only one of which was earned.

Josh Tomlin (4-3) was saddled with the loss, the Indians' third straight following a 9-1 stretch, after being reached for four runs -- three earned -- on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings.

"I made a bad pitch to Ortiz there and he made me pay for it," Tomlin said. "That kind of changed the outlook of the game."

Jason Kipnis went 2-for-4 with a two-run single to pace Cleveland offensively.

Cleveland swept the Red Sox earlier this month, but Boston took six of the seven meetings between the two teams a year ago.

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