American League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, August 7th (All times Eastern)
Texas Rangers (63-45) at Boston Red Sox (55-55), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Ryan Dempster (0-0, 15.43) Boston - Jon Lester (5-9, 5.36)
(Sports Network) - Ryan Dempster hopes to bounce back from a poor showing in his Texas debut this evening when the Rangers continue a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Acquired at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Chicago Cubs, Dempster was rocked in his American League debut on Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as he surrendered eight runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings, but escaped without a decision in his team's wild 15-9 win.
"He had never experienced the ballpark in Texas, and the Angels were pretty hot," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He got some balls up, and they didn't miss it. So just get the ball down."
Dempster, who had been 5-5 with the Cubs with a 2.25 ERA, beat the Red Sox earlier in the year and is 2-1 lifetime against them with a 5.11 ERA in five games (4 starts). This, though, will be his first outing at Fenway since June 12, 2001, when he lost as a member of the Marlins.
Boston will counter with struggling left-hander Jon Lester, who has lost his last four decisions and is 5-9 with a 5.36 ERA on the year. Lester's latest loss came on Thursday against Minnesota, despite a decent showing that saw him surrender three runs and seven hits in eight innings. He also fanned seven without walking a batter.
"It's been going in the right direction," Lester said. "I'm happy with that. Obviously, the results still aren't there, but I'm happy with how the ball came out of my hand. A loss is a loss, it still [stinks], but I took a lot of positives from [Thursday], so I've just got to keep building on that."
Lester was hammered by the Rangers earlier in the year to the tune of seven runs in just two innings, but owns a 3-2 mark in nine starts against them with a 4.47 ERA.
Boston drew first blood in this series on Monday, as Aaron Cook pitched seven sparkling innings, and Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez each drove in three runs to help the Red Sox to a 9-2 triumph.
Cook (3-5) scattered six hits and gave up a run to snap a four-decision skid. The right-hander, who was winless in his previous five starts, posted his first victory since a two-hit shutout June 29 at Seattle.
Dustin Pedroia hit three of Boston's eight doubles and had an RBI to cap a three-run fourth inning, as the Red Sox posted their second straight win following a four-game slide. Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-5 and scored three times in the opener of this three-game series.
"Consistent at-bats are what we're getting these days. These guys are world class players and they're playing very well now," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said.
Yu Darvish (11-8) surrendered a career-high 11 hits along with six runs over 6 2/3 innings, while recording nine strikeouts. Darvish, facing the Red Sox for the first time, walked four batters.
"We just have to keep working and get him back on track," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's better than what he's shown. We certainly don't want to see him go backwards. He's just got to keep battling. We're not going to let him quit. He'll get it together."
Texas has won four of six from the Red Sox this season.
08/07 10:42:02 ET