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(Sports Network) - John Lackey shoots for a fifth straight win this evening when the Boston Red Sox open a four-game set with the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park.
Lackey has started to turn it around after an awful start to the season. The righty continued his winning ways on Wednesday against Kansas City, as he held the Royals to four runs (three earned) and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings to improve to 9-8 to go along with a still lofty 6.20 ERA.
Cleveland has also given Lackey fits over his career, as he is just 6-7 lifetime against it with a 4.07 ERA.
The Red Sox, who added left-hander Erik Bedard at Sunday's non-waiver trade deadline, will need Lackey even more now with the news that righty Clay Buchholz could be lost for the season with a stress fracture in his back.
Still and all, the Red Sox continue to set the pace in the American League East, holding a two-game edge on the New York Yankees.
Boston captured the rubber match of its three-game set with the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, as Dustin Pedroia's two-run single in the seventh inning propelled the Red Sox to a 5-3 win.
"I'm excited to hit with guys on base. I'm just trying to drive the ball into the outfield to get one run. It was lucky for us that we got two," Pedroia said.
Jason Varitek added a two-run homer in the Red Sox's second straight win.
Alfredo Aceves (7-1) earned the win with a scoreless inning of relief of starter Andrew Miller. Miller allowed three runs on 10 hits and a walk while fanning eight in 5 2/3 innings.
Jonathan Papelbon struck out the side in the ninth to earn his 24th save of the year.
Cleveland, meanwhile, also helped itself out at the deadline, acquiring Colorado ace Ubaldo Jimenez for a package of prospects. The Indians find themselves 2 1/2 games back of the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central after dropping a 5-3 decision to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
Carlos Santana had two hits, including an RBI triple, and Jason Kipnis hit a solo home run for Cleveland, which has lost eight of its last 10.
"It was a disappointing homestand," said Indians manager Manny Acta. "The fact that we play better at home and come over here and lose three series in a row is very disappointing."
Fausto Carmona (5-11) was pegged with the loss after surrendering four runs on six hits in 7 1/3 innings.
Hoping to turn things around tonight the Indians will rely on righty Josh Tomlin, who is 11-5 with a 4.01 ERA. Tomlin absorbed the loss on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as he gave up two runs and four hits in eight innings.
Tomlin beat the Red Sox the last time he faced them and is 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA against them in two starts.
Cleveland has won four of its six matchups with the Red Sox this season.