Texas Rangers vs Boston Red Sox (3 games)
This 3 game series is the first of two series between the teams and it will begin in Arlington, Texas. The Sox won their 20th game of the season as they took the Jays 2-1 in the series and have won 8 of their last 10 games. The Rangers come into the series close behind them 17-11 winning 5 of their last 10 but enter on a 2 game losing streak. The Sox bats sure have been hot so far including a 5 home run game on Wednesday versus the Jays and hope to see Napoli lead that power once again throughout this series. Napoli will be returning home for his first time since he left the Rangers and hopes to show the Sox he was still the best investment for them. Injury notes for the Red Sox include Shane Victorino (continue back injuries) and Franklin Morales (15 day DL). Game 1 the Sox will deal Felix Doubront who is 3-0 with a 4.24 ERA to start the season. To face Doubront will be Derek Holland who has started the season 1-2. In Holland`s last start versus the Twins he went 7 strong innings but still came up short and lost the game. After Doubront struggled at the start he is coming in with 3 straight wins but is 0-2 in Arlington.. The Sox are 9-3 so far on the road and should be strong throughout this series to move that record up. Napoli is 3 for 6 with a homer in his career off former teammate Derek Holland, who seeks his fifth straight victory over the Red Sox. Saturday`s game 2 will feautre John Lackey for the Sox who made his comeback last week after being injured and pitched a fantastic game. With a 2.61 ERA Lackey punched out 4 batters and allowed just 1 run over 6 innings versus the Astros. To face Lackey will be 2-2 pitcher for the Rangers, Alexi Ogando. Both pitchers have faced the opposing team multiple times so matchups will not be new for this game. Neither pitcher is a strikeout master so expect to see a lot of hit balls that could go just about anywhere. Sunday`s finale will feature Red Sox ace, Jon Lester who is coming off a rattling no decision versus the Jays in which he allowed a season high 6 runs over 6 innings. Luckily the offense kept them in the game but when it came to the end the Sox bullpen let this one slide as they have a few times this year. (Probably will get better no that Aceves is gone) To face him will be a certain Cy Young candiate Yu Darvish. Darvish is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his last three starts. He lost to the Red Sox in his only career start against them, allowing six runs in 6 1/3 innings in a 9-2 loss on Aug. 6 2012, in Boston. Texas is 14-3 in Darvish's 17 career starts at home. With some new faces in the Sox dugout very few players on their lineup have seen Darvish or even hit Darvish at all! This game will be a pitchers game hopefully even though I do wish we could see Buchholz and Darvish square off for a Cy Young candidate game!
After taking game 3 off versus the Jays, David Ortiz should return back to the line up tonight in hope to continue his 22-game hitting streak. Both teams looking to continue their hot April through May and controlling this series will be key to them both keeping their divison lead. Another franchise note is that the Red Sox have been sitting on the top of the AL East for 33 straight days which is now a franchise record! We`ve got a good series of pitchers and hitters ahead of us here for a great looking weekend!
Game 1: Red Sox win 5-3
Game 2: Rangers win 4-1
Game 3: Red Sox win 3-2
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GO SOX GO!