Red Sox eye share of AL East lead in Texas

The Boston Red Sox can grab a share of the American League leading Texas game series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The Red Sox took three of four from the Kansas City Royals over the weekend, securing the series win with a 6-1 victory on Sunday.

Jon Lester (13-6) gave up just one hit before the seventh, when the Royals scored their only run to knock him out of the game with no outs. The left- hander struck out three, walked four and moved to 3-2 in six starts since coming off the disabled list last month.

"I feel good because we won the game. My stuff at times was good," said Lester. "Other times, I was trying to do too much, over-throwing the ball a little bit."

Darnell McDonald and Carl Crawford hit solo homers for the Red Sox, who remained a half-game behind the Yankees for the AL East lead after New York beat Minnesota on Sunday.

The Yankees are idle on Monday.

So if the Red Sox are going to join the Yankees atop the AL East they will need lefty Erik Bedard to pick up his first win with the team and his first in more than two months overall.

Acquired by Seattle at the non-waiver trade deadline, Bedard has gone 0-1 in three starts for the Red Sox, but has pitched well in each start. On Tuesday against Tampa Bay, Bedard allowed three runs (one earned) and seven hits in six innings, but was charged with the loss, dropping him to 4-8 on the year to go along with a 3.44 ERA.

"I actually am really encouraged," Boston manager Terry Francona said of Bedard's first three starts with the Red Sox. "I think we were prepared to see some rust when he first pitched. What you see there, with his ability to spin the breaking ball, throws strikes -- [he] commands the running game. That's exciting. Not just now, but going forward. He can go through some lineups now, which is good."

Bedard has faced the Rangers 13 times and is 4-3 against them with a 3.22 ERA.

Opposing him will be lefty C.J. Wilson, who is 12-5 on the year with a 3.20 ERA. Wilson won his second straight start on Wednesday in Anaheim, as he held the Angels to two runs (one earned) and five hits in seven innings.

Wilson did not get a decision the last time he faced the Red Sox, but is 3-1 lifetime against them with a 1.69 ERA in 16 games, just four of which have been starts.

The Rangers ran into a little trouble in Chicago over the weekend, dropping two of three to the White Sox and were routed in Sunday's rubber match, 10-0.

Derek Holland (11-5) lasted only 3 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits while fanning three and walking two.

Yorvit Torrealba collected two of Texas' four hits while Endy Chavez and Mike Napoli accounted for the other two. The Rangers have lost three of their last four after a six-game winning streak.

Texas, which swept a three-game set from the Red Sox to start the season, still holds a four-game edge on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the AL West.