(SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers kick off a nine-game road swing on Tuesday night when they play the first of three games against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Texas just wrapped up a 3-4 homestand and, like the rest of the American League West, has struggled to keep pace with the division-leading Houston Astros. While they entered Monday nine games off the pace, the Rangers did manage to snap a three-game slide a day earlier when they knocked off the Cleveland Indians by a 5-1 final to avoid being swept.
Mitch Moreland hit a two-run home run, and Nick Martinez improved to 3-0 with five innings of one-run ball. Relievers Ross Ohlendorf, Tanner Scheppers and Shawn Tolleson shut the door the rest of the way.
"It was not unlike games we've been playing," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We just happened to have 1-2-3 innings late that were really a shot in the arm for us, something we haven't had in a while. It was really nice to see Ohlendorf and Scheppers and those guys come in and shut the door for us."
The Red Sox are back home for six straight after completing a 5-5 road trip. They hit just .201 during the trip and have been held to two runs or less in five of the last six games.
"We're looking at different combinations. I don't know if we're looking at a complete lineup shakeup," BoSox manager John Farrell said. "We need guys just to perform as they've done for many years - nothing more, but perform like they've done over a long track record at the major league level."
"We haven't had back-to-back games where we just get going," Hanley Ramirez said. "We haven't done that and we have to start doing it. We just have to try to understand ways to stay patient."
The Red Sox were shut out in Sunday's 5-0 setback in Seattle. David Ortiz sat out to rest, but he is expected to be back in the lineup on Tuesday.
Farrell will give the ball to Wade Miley as the left-hander looks to build on an encouraging start at Oakland last week. Miley is just 2-4 with a 5.60 ERA on the season, but he pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings in a win over the ace the Athletics and ace Sonny Gray on Wednesday. It marked the third straight start that he pitched at least six innings.
The Rangers will counter with Yovani Gallardo, who snapped a personal four- game losing streak by beating Kansas City on Wednesday. The right-hander went seven innings and allowed two earned runs on six hits. He is 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA in two career starts at Fenway.
The Red Sox won four of six meetings against the Rangers last season.