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Red Sox vs. Blue Jays: John Lackey takes the mound needing to rebound

It's been a rough month for John Lackey. Can he bounce back after a lengthy break?

Bob Levey

John Lackey will take the mound for the first time since the All-Star break, needing to brush off some odd games that have plagued him over the past month.

Today's Lineups

BOSTON RED SOX TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Brock Holt - RF Jose Reyes - SS
Dustin Pedroia - 2B Munenori Kawasaki - 2B
David Ortiz - DH Melky Cabrera - LF
Mike Napoli - 1B Jose Bautista - DH
Daniel Nava - LF Colby Rasmus - CF
Stephen Drew - SS Dan Johnson - 1B
Xander Bogaerts - 3B Erik Kratz - C
Jackie Bradley - CF Juan Francisco - 3B
Christian Vazquez - C Anthony Gose - RF
John Lackey - RHP Drew Hutchison - RHP

Put together, Lackey's last two starts don't seem all that unusual. 11.1 IP, 14 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 6 BB, 14 K. Not up to his usual quality, sure, but also not exactly strange.

Individually, however, we're talking about 11 strikeouts in five innings of five-run ball and six innings of two-run ball with five walks and just three strikeouts. That's more than a little loopy, and while the two starts before them at least make sense, they certainly don't live up to the standards Lackey has set for himself over the last 16 months. All told, in four starts since his three-hit shutout, Lackey has an 8.10 ERA with a .984 OPS against. It's the worst we've seen from him since 2011. Hopefully a little time off will have done him good.

First pitch is at 7:07 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.