Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 7/2/13
8 a.m. ET: John Lackey has been pitching just fine this season without cupcake opponents, but it still must be nice to get two straight starts against the middling National League West. Lackey takes the ball for the Red Sox (50-34) on Tuesday night after putting up some career numbers his last time out at Fenway Park. In his last start, on Wednesday, he went seven innings and struck out 12 (matching a career-high) against the Colorado Rockies. He’ll kick off the Red Sox’ three-game set against the San Diego Padres (40-43) on Tuesday. The game figures to be a battle of opposites, at least when it comes to the mound. While the 34-year-old Lackey, a right-hander, is coming off a season lost to Tommy John surgery and looking to fulfill a big contract with Boston (as he sports the best ERA and strikeouts per innings pitched of his career, mind you), San Diego’s Robbie Erlin, a left-handed rookie, is appearing in just his third big league start. He has pitched 15 innings this season, going 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA and 12 strikeouts. The fun starts at 6 p.m. with Red Sox First Pitch, with the hometown team looking to get things going again after a day off. The game is set to begin at 7:10, and keep it here for all your news and updates until then and throughout the action.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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