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ALCS foes to lead with their aces

ALCS foes to lead with their aces

NEW YORK -- John Lackey will be the Angels' starter for Friday night's Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees, who will counter with their ace, CC Sabathia.

Lackey got the Angels rolling against the Red Sox with 7 1/3 scoreless innings in a 5-0 victory in Game 1 of the AL Division Series at Angel Stadium on Thursday night.

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Lackey, getting his first postseason win since Game 7 of the 2002 World Series against the Giants, yielded four hits and one walk while striking out four men and outdueling Jon Lester.

The Angels are making their sixth appearance in the ALCS, looking for their second triumph. They beat the Twins in five games in 2002 en route to a World Series championship. In their most recent ALCS appearance, the Angels fell to the eventual 2005 champion White Sox in five games.

The Angels are 11-15 overall in ALCS play and 5-8 on the road. They have faced the Yankees twice in postseason play, eliminating the Bronx Bombers in 2002 and '05 in the ALDS. In those two series, the teams split two games each time at old Yankee Stadium. The Angels batted a combined .323 in winning six of nine games, with 21 homers.

2009 STATS
Lackey Sabathia
11-8 19-8
3.83 ERA 3.37 ERA
139 K 197 K

The Angels were 1-3 this season in the Yankees' new palatial estate, splitting the 10 games of the season series by going 4-2 at home.

The Angels outscored the Yanks in the series, 61-55, and outhit them, .315 to New York's .272 average. The Angels had a .473 slugging percentage, the Yankees checking in at .456.

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.

Sabathia, who claimed Game 1 of the ALDS sweep of Minnesota at Yankee Stadium, was 7-2 at home in the regular season.

The Angels pinned one of two those losses on the big lefty on May 2. He went 6 2/3 innings that day, yielding five runs (four earned) on eight hits.

AL Championship Series
Gm. 1 NYY 4, LAA 1 Wrap Video
Gm. 2 NYY 4, LAA 3 Wrap Video
Gm. 3 LAA 5, NYY 4 Wrap Video
Gm. 4 NY 10, LAA 1 Wrap Video
Gm. 5 LAA 7, NYY 6 Wrap Video
Gm. 6 NYY 5, LAA 2 Wrap Video

Sabathia also lost to the Angels in Anaheim on July 12, again going 6 2/3 innings and giving up five runs, all earned, on nine hits. He is 5-7 in 14 career starts against the Angels with a 4.72 ERA.

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

Lackey is 5-7 with a 4.66 ERA in 16 career starts against the Yankees -- virtually identical to Sabathia's numbers against the Angels.

The Angels hope to carry the momentum from their dramatic 7-6 decision over the Red Sox on Sunday at Fenway Park, where each of the three runners who scored in the ninth reached base with two outs and two strikes.

Trailing, 5-1, entering the sixth, it was the 10th time this season they had come back to win from a deficit of at least four runs.

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

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