The Texas Rangers will open the second half of their season Thursday night in Boston, as Tommy Hunter will face off against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Texas stumbled into the All-Star Break after a four-game sweep at the hands of the Orioles and a 3-8 overall record in their last 11. To their good fortune, the Los Angeles Angels entered the break on the same 3-8 skid, and the Rangers retain their 4.5 game lead (six game advantage in the loss column) in the division.
Texas opens the second half with a virtually clean bill of health. Their rotation is intact, and struggling starter Rich Harden will be rehabbing in Triple-A Oklahoma City. The preferred lineup will be available as well.
After the four game set in Boston and a midweek series in Detroit, Texas will return home for another showdown with the Angels. Texas and LA will play seven games over two weekends, and the American League West race could take a different shape.