Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
BOSTON – The Texas Rangers had a 10-game winning streak come to an end on Saturday but got right back to the winning formula again on Sunday – solid starting pitching and a barrage of home runs. The Rangers will bring their power east and try to make it 12 wins in 13 games when they visit the Boston Red Sox for the opener of a three-game series on Tuesday.
Texas pitchers allowed three or fewer runs in eight of the last 11 wins and are being backed by an offense that is even getting power from the likes of Pete Kozma, who belted his first home run since 2013 in a 5-2 win at Detroit on Sunday. “A lot of feel-good going into Boston,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister told reporters. “(Mike Napoli) going deep and a big home run by Kozma, none bigger. Look, we needed that run. Got good barrel.” The Red Sox got good barrel on Sunday as well, pounding out 15 hits in a 12-3 win at Oakland that helped them avoid a four-game sweep and kept the team from drifting below .500 for the first time this season. Boston will try to keep the hits coming against Texas right-hander Andrew Cashner while reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello tries to keep Texas’ batters in the yard for the Red Sox.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Texas), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers RH Andrew Cashner (1-3, 2.45 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (2-5, 4.23)
Cashner is dominating of late and allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his last six turns. The TCU product struggles to work deep into games and did not earn his first win until Wednesday, when he limited the Philadelphia Phillies to two runs in a season-high seven innings. Cashner, who spent the first seven seasons of his career in the NL, is seeing Boston for the first time but held Hanley Ramirez to 3-for-20 with no home runs when the two were in the NL.
Porcello already owns more losses than he suffered last season (four) and is coming off a six-inning outing at St. Louis on Wednesday in which he surrendered four runs on nine hits and three walks in six innings. The New Jersey native yielded 10 home runs in 55 1/3 innings so far after giving up 23 in 223 frames last season. Porcello is 5-4 with a 5.69 ERA in nine career starts against Texas.
1. Red Sox 1B and former Ranger Mitch Moreland homered in each of the last three games.
2. Texas C Jonathan Lucroy hit safely in each of his last nine games and drove in at least one run in the last five.
3. Boston LHP David Price (elbow) is expected to make a final rehab start on Wednesday at Triple-A Pawtucket.