Rangers seek series victory over Red Sox

If the Rangers and Red Sox meet in the postseason next month, Texas certainly made a statement in last night's opener.

After knocking Boston out of first place in the American League East with a rout on Friday, first-place Texas looks to secure a series win this afternoon at Fenway Park.

The Rangers won their first four meetings versus the Red Sox this season, including the opener of a four-game set at Texas to begin last week. However, Boston outscored the AL West leaders by a 30-7 margin in taking the final three games of that series.

Payback was in the cards last night as the Rangers pummeled the Red Sox by a 10-0 margin, upping their lead over the Angles to 4 1/2 games while knocking the BoSox a half-game behind the Yankees in the AL East. Boston now takes over the lead in the AL Wild Card race with a nine-game edge over Tampa Bay.

Ian Kinsler hit a three-run homer for the Rangers and Elvis Andrus went 2- for-2 with a two-run homer, a pair of walks and four runs scored in his club's fourth victory in five games.

Derek Holland went seven innings and combined with two other pitchers in a two-hitter. He struck out six and didn't issue a walk.

"We certainly needed a game like this, where we had the bats early and we're able to relax a little bit," said Texas manager Ron Washington. "It takes some of the pressure off the pitcher when you put up a bunch of runs early in the game."

Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez each singled to account for the only two hits for the Red Sox, who were coming off a series loss to the Yankees.

Andrew Miller didn't fare too well in his first start since shutting out Texas for 6 1/3 innings on Aug. 25. He lasted just 1 1/3 innings and was tagged for six runs on five hits and four walks.

"We can't make excuses for this game," said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. "When they got their foot on the gas pedal they just keep going and don't give you any room."

Kevin Youkilis returned from the 15-day disabled list and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts for Boston. He had been out since Aug. 18 because of a lower back strain. David Ortiz, meanwhile, went hitless in three at-bats to end his 15-game hitting streak.

Colby Lewis draws the start for the Rangers tonight looking to forget his past two outings that have featured 12 runs allowed over a span of 12 innings.

The rut began in a loss to Boston on Aug. 23, when the right-hander yielded seven runs on nine hits over six innings. Gonzalez hit a pair of homers off Lewis, dropping him to 2-2 with a 4.50 earned run average lifetime against the Red Sox.

"When [the Red Sox] had runners on I made some mistakes, and they took advantage," Lewis said.

The 32-year-old didn't do much better versus the Angels on Sunday, surrendering five runs over six innings before his club rebounded for a 9-5 win. Lewis did not get a decision and is 11-9 with a 4.19 ERA in 27 starts this year, though that includes a 2.71 ERA in 13 road outings.

Erik Bedard goes for Boston seeking his first victory since being acquired from the Mariners. He has a 3.46 ERA in five starts since the deal and seemed in line to pick up a win over the A's last Saturday before rain cut his outing short after four-plus innings. Bedard did not allow a run and gave up two hits and four walks in his club's 4-0 win.

The 32-year-old southpaw is 4-9 with a 3.45 ERA in 21 total starts this season and 4-4 with a 3.42 ERA lifetime when facing the Rangers.