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Rangers, Wilson Look To Take Series From Red Sox

(Sports Network) - In what has turned out to be an exciting battle, the Texas Rangers and the Boston Red Sox will take the field this afternoon for the finale of a three-game series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

After falling to the Rangers in extra innings on Friday, the Red Sox rebounded last night when Jon Lester turned in eight scoreless innings and Bill Hall finished 2-for-4 with an RBI in a 3-1 victory.

J.D. Drew and Marco Scutaro also drove in runs for the Red Sox, who had dropped two in a row, including a 10-9, 11-inning setback in Friday's series opener.

Lester (13-7) allowed just five hits and fanned five without walking a batter to win his second straight start after losing four in a row.

Josh Hamilton smacked a solo homer for the Rangers, who have lost four of six. Colby Lewis (9-9) was the hard-luck loser despite limiting Boston to six hits and one run with nine strikeouts over 6 2/3 frames.

This afternoon the Red Sox will give the ball to Daisuke Matsuzaka, who will be making his fifth career start against Texas. The right-hander is 3-1 in his previous four meetings with the Rangers, but has an unimpressive 5.09 earned run average.

The last time Matsuzaka was on the bump, he surrendered four runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings Tuesday against Toronto. The Japanese hurler did not factor in the decision that night, but finished with seven strikeouts.

Matsuzaka is 4-1 in 10 road starts this season, but comes into this game with a less-than-attractive 4.09 earned run average as well.

As for the Rangers, they will turn to C.J. Wilson, who is winless in his last two starts. The last time the southpaw was on the mound he allowed just two runs in 5 1/3 innings of work against the New York Yankees on Tuesday. Wilson, who did not figure in the 4-3 victory, finished with three walks and five strikeouts.

Wilson has made 14 career appearances against Boston, but only two have been starts and one of them came earlier this season. In that contest, the savvy lefty held the Red Sox to just one run in 6 2/3 innings to pick up the victory. Wilson walked five batters in that game, but struck out 10.

The Rangers have won five of nine over the Red Sox this year and were victorious in five of six meetings at home against Boston last season.


Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.