Game 61: Rangers at Red Sox - Sox Seek Split

The Guru
Contributing Writer

The Boston Red Sox (36-24) and Texas Rangers (36-22) wrap up their three game series tonight at Fenway Park. Last night the bullpen had a rare let down as the Sox lost 3-2. The loss ended Boston’s three game winning streak. They’ve lost three of four to the Rangers this season.

It’s a battle of the lefties tonight as Jon Lester takes on Derek Holland.

Lester is 6-2, 3.53 ERA on the year. The lefthander has lost his last two starts after opening the season 6-0 record. In Lester’s past three starts his ERA is 6.05 and he’s allowed 13 runs in 19 ⅓ innings. Lester is averaging 109.6 pitches per start, which leads all AL pitchers. At Fenway Lester is 2-0 with a 2.51 ERA this season and is 3-3 with a 4.57 ERA in 11 career starts versus the Rangers.

Right fielder Nelson Cruz has dominated Lester, going 10-for-19 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI. Adrian Beltre is hitting a career .318 with 3 RBIs against Lester. The Rangers placed first baseman Mitch Moreland on the DL with a hamstring strain.

Texas starter Derek Holland is 5-2 with a healthy 2.81 ERA. Holland has won a season-high four straight decisions. He was 4-0 with a 2.31 ERA in May, and the Rangers won all six of his starts. Holland has a five-game winning streak against the Red Sox. He is 5-1 with 2.41 ERA in six starts overall against the Red Sox.

First pitch 7:10 EDT. Here’s tonight’s starting nine:

2. Gomes, LF
3. Pedroia, 2B
4. Ortiz, DH
5. Napoli, 1B
6. Nava, RF
7. Ross, C
8. Iglesias, SS
9. Ciriaco, 3B

Lester, P

Ellsbury returns: Jacoby Ellsbury, who had missed the last five games with a groin injury, is back in centerfield and batting leadoff. It will be his first game in a week. Ellsbury is hitting .268 with 30 runs scored and 21 stolen bases.

Pedroia steady: Dustin Pedroia has hit in nine straight, going 11-for-35 and is fifth in the American League with a .330 average. Pedroia has played 60 games without an error, the longest such streak by a Red Sox second baseman to start a season. Not bad for a guy playing with a torn UCL in his left thumb.

Jose at short: Jose Iglesias will get the nod at shortstop as Stephen Drew gets a night off. We all knew Iggy had the glove, but he’s currently batting .426 with a nine game hit streak with four extra-base hits and five RBI. No way he gets sent back to Triple-A. Pedro Ciriaco will play third tonight. Ciriaco leads the team with seven errors in 20 games.

Draft Day: Don’t expect to see general manager Ben Cherington as he and the baseball ops people are busy in the bunker preparing for tonight’s Rule 4 Draft. The Sox select seventh overall, their highest pick since 1993 when they selected Trot Nixon. It’s just a guess, but look for the Red Sox to possibly grab one of the high school outfielders out of Georgia, Clint Frazier or Austin Meadows.

Let us know what you think about tonight’s game by commenting below.

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