(SportsNetwork.com) - Right-hander Clay Buchholz's inconsistent season was on the uptick last time out and he will try to lead the Boston Red Sox to a series victory on Thursday evening in the finale of a three-game set with the Texas Rangers.
Buchholz did not factor into a 2-1 loss at Seattle on Friday, but to no fault of his own as he struck out a season-high 11 batters over eight innings of one-run, three-hit ball. He also didn't walk a batter and lowered his earned run average from 5.73 to 4.93 to go along with a 2-4 record.
Buchholz has now yielded two or fewer runs four times this season, but also has been tagged for at least four runs three times.
The 30-year-old is just 1-4 in six career starts versus the Rangers, posting a 4.46 ERA.
Wandy Rodriguez will make his sixth start of the season for the Rangers tonight aiming to rebound from an 8-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Friday.
Rodriguez gave up season highs of five runs and eight hits over just 4 2/3 innings of work, walking one with two strikeouts. He fell to 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA on the year, giving up nine runs over nine innings in the two losses while yielding just three runs total over his other three outings.
The veteran left-hander and long-time NL hurler has never faced the Red Sox.
The Rangers evened this series on Wednesday with a 2-1 win as Phil Klein won his first big league start and Robinson Chirinos hit a key home run.
Recalled from Triple-A, Klein lasted just 5 1/3 innings and 81 pitches, but allowed a run on five hits with a walk while striking out four. The 26-year- old right-hander had 23 previous major league relief efforts under his belt, including six appearances this season from April 6-14.
Elvis Andrus knocked in the other run and Adrian Beltre posted a pair of hits for the Rangers, who won for only the third time in their past eight games.
Xander Bogaerts homered, while Mookie Betts, Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino collected two hits each for a Red Sox club that had won four of six coming in.
Joe Kelly gave up two runs on seven hits and fanned seven over his tough-luck, seven-frame outing.
"My fastball was working for me tonight, but I was giving up a lot of hits on my off-speed pitches," said Kelly.
Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval did not play due to a sore left knee suffered in Tuesday's game when he was hit by a pitch. He is day-to-day, but unlikely to play tonight.
The Red Sox won four of six meetings against the Rangers last season. The two clubs will play four games in Arlington later this month.