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John Lackey notches second start of Spring Training

BALTIMORE -- After one recent new acquisition (Nelson Cruz) made the Orioles look good in their win on Opening Day, they'll try to use the same formula to beat the Red Sox in Wednesday's Game 2 of this three-game set between American League East rivals.

This time, it is Ubaldo Jimenez, the right-hander who signed with the Orioles in mid-February and will make his debut.

Jimenez finished last season strong with the Indians, providing some hope that he can recapture the type of form that once made him an ace for the Colorado Rockies.

"I'm very excited to go out there with my new team and my new teammates wearing the Orioles uniform," said Jimenez. "I came in a little bit later, but I was able to catch up. I was able to throw the pitches that I need to be ready for the season. So I feel good."

The Red Sox feel good about the man they are sending the mound on Wednesday as well. That would be John Lackey, who finished the glorious 2013 season by winning the clinching Game 6 of the World Series.

Last year at this time, Lackey was just trying to prove he could be successful again after missing all of 2012 due to Tommy John Surgery.

This year, Lackey starts in a good place, knowing that the Red Sox consider him one of the anchors of their pitching staff. Lackey had a routine Spring Training, and that's a good thing.

"He progressed as we could have hoped," said manager John Farrell. "He showed his best arm strength and best overall stuff in his final outing. We took a pretty clear and designed approach towards getting him to game speed and then ultimately to 90-plus pitches. The most encouraging outing was four days ago, and we're looking forward to him getting on the mound Wednesday."

Red Sox: Staying aggressive on bases
Though Jacoby Ellsbury is now with the Yankees and Shane Victorino is opening the season on the disabled list, Farrell vows that his team will stay on the attack mode on the bases, even if there aren't quite as many stolen bases.

"Well, you take our two base-stealers off the roster, it's going to have an impact," said Farrell. "The biggest thing to us was how opportunistic we were, whether that was on dirt-ball reads … we feel like every guy in our lineup, we've got an idea of what the minimum unloading time from a pitcher and catcher combination is to be successful.

"That's what's always driven us -- the success rate, not the total number of stolen bases achieved. That part of the game is not going to leave us. We've just got to be a little bit more sure if we attempt."

Orioles: Markakis over neck spasms
Orioles leadoff man Nick Markakis is over the neck spasms that plagued him recently, and he was able to make it through Monday's Opening Day without a problem, though he went 0-for-4.

For Markakis, the neck spasms started on the team flight to Norfolk on Saturday. By Monday, he felt much better.

"I've been here long enough to know which injuries I can baby and which injuries I need to take care of," Markakis said. "This is one that is kind of in between."

Worth noting
• Pedroia, who had two hits on Monday, is the first Boston player in the last century to have at least one hit in his first eight Opening Day starts with the club.

• The Orioles were the only AL East team to post a winning record against Boston last season, going 11-8.

• Grady Sizemore should again start for Boston after clubbing a home run on Monday in his first Major League game since Sept. 22, 2011. Comments