BOSTON -- With a team-high 17 quality starts under his belt, Red Sox pitcher John Lackey has arguably been the most consistent pitcher on the team this season, although his win-loss record doesn't do much to match the claim.
Lackey pitched a strong 7 1/3 innings against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night, allowing only three runs on his way to yet another winless quality start, his ninth this season. Despite a 3.19 ERA that ranks 11th among American League starters, Lackey is 8-11 on the season.
"Sure, I would like to have more wins than I have right now but that's not the goal," Lackey said. "The goal is for the team to win games. Tonight was a great win for us, the guys came back at the end. We're trying to make the playoffs, trying to do some special things. It's not about my individual wins."
Down 3-1 after surrendering solo home runs to All-Stars Manny Machado in the third inning and Chris Davis in the sixth, Lackey grinded through seven frames before the Red Sox offense was able to tie the game on a two-run single by Dustin Pedroia. Lackey retired Machado to begin the eighth inning before being pulled at 92 pitches in favor of reliever Craig Breslow to face the left-handed Davis.
"He walks out to begin the eighth inning with the exception of a couple of pitches that found the middle of the plate, the cutter to Davis and the fastball that came back to the middle of the plate on Machado," Farrell said. "Another strong performance on his part."
In the month of August Lackey has gone 1-3 in five starts despite allowing more than three runs in an outing only once. The Red Sox scored a combined 13 runs in those games, two of which were shutouts.
"It seems like most years I've been in the league there's kind of been that guy on pretty much every staff that doesn't get quite as many runs as the other guys," Lackey said. "I've kind of been that guy."
Of the four qualified starting pitchers for the Red Sox this season, Lackey is the only one not ranked in AL's top 10 in terms of run support average per start (Ryan Dempster second, Felix Doubront third, Jon Lester 10th).
Instead, Lackey's 3.25 run support average per start has him ranked 77th out of 87 qualified pitchers.
However, the 34-year-old remains focused on the positives he has drawn from pitching so consistently this year.
"I'm just really excited, really happy, to be healthy and to be able to compete at a high level and to be able to help this team win games," Lackey said. "It's been exciting, been a lot of fun to get out there and really get after it."