American League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 18th (All times Eastern)
Texas Rangers (9-2) at Boston Red Sox (4-7), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Derek Holland (1-0, 3.37) Boston - Josh Beckett (1-1, 5.68)
(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers try to keep their perfect road record intact this evening when they go for a sweep in their brief two-game set with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway.
The Rangers ran their record to 4-0 away from home on Tuesday with an absolute beat down of the Red Sox, as Josh Hamilton blasted a mammoth home run and matched a career-high with five RBI, while Mike Napoli homered twice and knocked in four in Texas' 18-3 rout.
Elvis Andrus added three RBI, Nelson Cruz launched a two-run blast and Michael Young added a solo blast for the Rangers, who have won five in a row overall and are off to their best start since going 10-1 in 1989.
Another win tonight would also make them 5-0 for the first time since 1989, when the Rangers opened a franchise-best 6-0 away from home.
Colby Lewis (2-0) worked seven innings, allowing eight hits and two runs while fanning seven. Texas backed the right-hander with a season-high 21 hits and six home runs.
"It was one of those nights we swung the bats well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We played good defense, we ran the bases, we pitched and we did everything that we were supposed to do."
Dustin Pedroia posted a two-run homer and Adrian Gonzalez also went deep for the Red Sox, who have dropped two in a row since starting this nine-game homestand with three straight wins.
Jon Lester (0-2) didn't make it out of the third inning, charged in defeat with eight hits and seven runs with four walks.
"It was one of those nights where I just flat-out stunk," said Lester. "When I did make the adjustment and tried to get back in the zone it wasn't good enough."
The loss was the most lopsided for Boston since a 22-1 defeat to the New York Yankees on June 19, 2000, and marked the most runs scored at Fenway by a visitor other than the Yankees since Milwaukee won 18-0 on April 16, 1990.
Tonight, the Rangers will try to provide Derek Holland with the same type of support tonight. Holland improved to 1-0 on the year on Thursday against Seattle, as he held them to two runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings to lower his ERA to 3.38.
Holland is 2-1 in three starts against the Red Sox with a 2.95 ERA. In his last start at Fenway Holland tossed seven scoreless innings and struck out six without walking a batter.
"That was last year," said Holland. "I never look back on that. I may have had a good performance, but I can't think about that. You can't let that affect you as a pitcher."
Boston, meanwhile, will try to regroup behind righty Josh Beckett, who was impressive in his last start after a shaky season debut. Beckett evened his record at 1-1 on Friday, as he held the Tampa Bay Rays to a run and five hits in eight innings. He had surrendered seven runs in 4 2/3 frames to Detroit in his first start.
Beckett, a Texas native, has faced the Rangers eight times and is 3-2 with a 5.03 ERA. However, he has pitched to a 7.79 ERA in three career starts versus Texas at Fenway.
Texas was 6-4 versus the Red Sox last season.
04/18 10:34:25 ET