ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Rookie John Lackey makes his
first postseason start on Saturday as the Anaheim Angels try to
take a commanding lead in the American League Championship
Series in Game Four against the Minnesota Twins at Edison Field.
The Angels' pitching has helped them to a two games to one lead
in the best-of-seven series and it is up to Lackey to continue
that success. He pitched three scoreless inning of relief
against the New York Yankees in Game Three of the American
League Division Series.
Lackey (0-0, 0.00 ERA) was 9-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 18 starts. He
faced the Twins at the Metrodome on July 15 and gave up five
runs - three earned - in six innings but did not receive a
The 23-year-old righthander, who celebrates a birthday on
October 23, was 4-1 with a 3.52 ERA in eight starts at Edison
Field this season.
The Twins counter with seasoned veteran Brad Radke (2-0, 1.54),
who is unbeaten in the playoffs. He won both his ALDS starts,
allowing six runs - two earned - and 14 hits in 11 2/3 innings.
"I feel pretty good right now," Radke said. "I know in the past
I've thrown a lot of innings. September, usually I get pretty
tired. But this year I feel pretty good."
Radke faced the Angels at the Metrodome on May 30 but left in
the first inning after aggravating a groin injury. He is 11-4
with a 1.73 ERA in 18 career starts against the Twins.
The 30-year-old righthander is 6-1 with a 1.38 ERA in seven
career starts at Edison Field.
Jarrod Washburn pitched seven strong innings and Troy Glaus hit
a tie-breaking solo homer in the eighth inning to lead the
Angels to a 2-1 victory in Game Three on Friday.
Francisco Rodriguez retired the side in order, striking out two,
in the eighth inning for the win and Troy Percival capped
another strong performance by Anaheim's bullpen with a scoreless
ninth for his fourth postseason save.
The Angels' bullpen has pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings in the
first three games of the series, allowing just one hit and one
walk while striking out 13.
"As a starter you don't want to limit yourself, you want to go
out there and try to go as long as possible," Lackey said. "But
with the success of our bullpen, it gives you confidence. I'll
be going as hard as I can and I have full confidence in the
bullpen, whenever they come in the game."
The Twins continue to be dominated by Percival, who has not
allowed a run in 55 career innings against the American League
Minnesota's bullpen has been nearly as good, giving up just one
run and four hits while striking out 10 in 6 2/3 innings.