After dropping the first two games of their series with the White Sox 4-0 and 8-3, the Red Sox were able to earn a series split with two walk-off wins, giving them a league-leading eight walk-offs on the season.
With their 10-game homestand over, the Sox now head to Houston for a three-game set with the Astros before the All-Star break, where all but Jon Lester and Koji Uehara will get some much-needed rest away from the game.
Starting for the Sox in his home state of Texas is John Lackey, who gets the ball on Friday holding a 9-6 record and 3.84 ERA in 18 starts this season. In his last time out, Lackey struck out 11 batters, but gave up five runs on 10 hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings to the Orioles in the second game of a doubleheader on July 5.
Lackey is making his fourth career start against the former National Leaguers, having gone 1-1 with a 4.86 ERA in those appearances. He started twice against them in 2013, going 1-1 and allowing three runs in 12 total innings.
The most successful Houston hitter against Lackey has been Jason Castro, who is 2-for-4 with two walks in his career against the Sox starter. All-Star Jose Altuve is 1-for-6, while other batters in Friday’s starting nine who have reached against Lackey include Matt Dominguez and Robbie Grossman, who are both 1-for-6, and L.J. Hoes, a late addition who is 2-for-3 against Lackey.
Scott Feldman will toe the rubber for Houston on Friday, sitting at 4-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 15 starts this year. He gave up two runs in six innings in his most recent start on July 5 against the Los Angeles Angels.
Feldman has made 11 appearances in his career against the Red Sox, five of them starts, and has a 1-2 record with a 5.86 ERA. He was roughed up for eight earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings on Sept. 27, 2013 in his last start against the Sox.
Of Boston hitters in Friday’s starting lineup, Dustin Pedroia has seen Feldman the most, going 7-for-17 with a home run. David Ortiz is 3-for-12 with three walks; Mike Carp is 4-for-11 with a sac fly; and Stephen Drew is 4-for-9 with two walks.