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10/13/09 2:26 PM EST

Lackey to take ball in Game 1 of ALCS

Ace is hoping to follow up on his strong outing in ALDS

NEW YORK -- Coming out of the chute firing strikes in good locations, John Lackey got the Angels rolling against the Red Sox with 7 1/3 scoreless innings in a 5-0 win in Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Angel Stadium on Thursday night.

The veteran right-hander will be counted on to get the Halos off to a good start again, this time in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series on Friday at 4:57 p.m. PT against the Yankees.

Getting his first postseason win since Game 7 of the 2002 World Series against the Giants, Lackey yielded four hits and one walk while striking out four men, outdueling Jon Lester. He'd gone 0-3 in six previous postseason starts following his Fall Classic triumph as a rookie.

Lackey has appeared in three playoff games against the Yankees, twice as a starter. He has surrendered three earned runs and 10 hits in 14 1/3 innings for a 1.88 ERA.

The 6-foot-6 tower of strength from Abilene, Texas, worked three shutout innings against New York in the '02 ALDS and had no-decisions in two starts in the '05 ALDS.

Lackey won his only start against the Yankees this year, defeating Sabathia in that July 12 matchup, giving up two earned runs in seven innings.

Lackey is 5-7 with a 4.66 ERA in 16 career starts against the Yankees. Sabathia's numbers against the Angels are virtually identical, as the left-hander is 5-7 with a 4.72 ERA in 14 career starts against the Halos.

Lackey's ability to get movement on his fastball and put it in good locations sets up his big curveball, slider and changeup as complementary deliveries. He'll throw any of his pitches in any count.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.