After a disappointing start, John Lackey feels like he's throwing the ball as well as any time during his successful career.
The right-hander hopes for another strong start while trying to help the Boston Red Sox avoid a seventh consecutive road loss to the Oakland Athletics in a matchup of division leaders Friday night.
Returning from elbow surgery that erased his entire 2012 season and a biceps strain that sidelined him for most of April, Lackey started 1-4 with a 4.05 ERA. Since then, he's 5-2 with a 2.30 ERA in 10 starts.
"It's probably the best first half I've had," said the 34-year-old Lackey, who possibly forgot about going 11-5 with a 2.91 ERA before the break in 2007.
Lackey (6-6, 2.80) lost for the first time in seven starts Sunday, allowing two solo homers among five hits and striking out nine in seven innings of a 3-0 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels.
"John's pitching as well as he has I think at any point in time in his career - and that's not to shortchange anythi...