Red Sox Look to Ditch Losing Streak as Slumping Rangers Visit Boston Red Sox Look to Ditch Losing Streak as Slumping Rangers Visit BostonThe Red Sox carry a five-game losing streak into the opener of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers, searching for something to turn things around.

At 4-9, Boston is off to its worst start in 14 years. The club’s six-game losing streak at Fenway Park is the longest in 16 years. And the 1-6 start at home is the worst since 1932.

While the numbers are ugly, the way they have been accumulated has been even uglier.

During the slide, the Sox have committed eight errors and scored nine runs. They are hitless in 32 straight at-bats with runners in scoring position. They have not held a lead since Wednesday in Minnesota.

Perhaps just getting rid of the Tampa Bay Rays will help. The first-place Rays outscored the Sox 24-9 in a four-game sweep.

WHEN AND WHERE

Rangers (5-7) vs. Red Sox (4-9)
Tuesday, April 19, 7 p.m. (NESN)
Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.

HEAD TO HEAD

The Red Sox lost seven of nine meetings with the Rangers in 2009, one year after winning the season series 9-1.

PITCHING MATCHUP

RHP Colby Lewis (2-0, 2.19 ERA) vs. RHP Tim Wakefield (0-1, 5.11 ERA)

Through his first 11 innings of the season, Wakefield had allowed three runs. In his next 1 1/3 last Thursday in Minnesota, he was reached for five.

The 43-year-old was the losing pitcher in an 8-0 setback to the Twins, which began the team’s losing streak. And while he had good success against Minnesota before that start, he has been hit hard by Texas over the years.

In 33 games — 26 starts — Wakefield is 10-15 with a 5.98 ERA versus the Rangers, his highest ERA against any AL opponent.

Lewis, who did not pitch in the majors the last two years, has struck out 13 in 12 1/3 electric innings this year. He has a 1.93 ERA in five career outings against the Sox.

LINEUPS

Rangers Red Sox
Elvis Andrus, SS
Michael Young, 3B
Josh Hamilton, LF
Vladimir Guerrero, DH
Nelson Cruz, RF
Chris Davis, 1B
Matt Treanor, C
Joaquin Arias, 2B
Julio Borbon, CF
Marco Scutaro, SS
J.D. Drew, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Victor Martinez, C
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Josh Reddick, CF

STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • Bill Hall broke an 0-for-10 stretch to start his Red Sox career with a single on Monday.
  • Boston is 35-18 on Patriots’ Day when playing either the New York Yankees or the old Washington Senators. It is 31-31 against all other opponents.
  • The Sox have committed an error in five straight games, the team’s longest run since a five-game stretch in May 2008. Both spans have seen Boston commit eight errors overall.

Rangers

  • Third baseman Michael Young set the club record for multi-hit games over the weekend. He has 492, now two ahead of former Texas catcher Ivan Rodriguez.
  • The Rangers’ team ERA is 3.41, second in the AL.
  • Nelson Cruz is among a group of 16 major leaguers in history to have hit seven home runs in 11 games or fewer to start the season.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox

  • Jacoby Ellsbury is expected to increase the intensity of his swings on Tuesday in an effort to test his sore ribs. The club has not ruled out putting him on the disabled list retroactively if he does not show progress.
  • As of late Monday afternoon, Mike Cameron remained at Massachusetts General Hospital for tests to determine pain in his abdomen. He passed a kidney stone on Friday and the new pain was thought to be the same issue, but doctors may have ruled that out Monday.
  • Hall said he was a bit sore in the ribs but otherwise fine after colliding hard with the wall in right-center field on Monday.

Rangers

  • Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment this week as he recovers from back stiffness.
  • Second baseman Ian Kinsler is hoping to begin a rehab assignment within the week. He missed much of spring training and has yet to play this year due to a high ankle sprain.

OUTLOOK

The Red Sox have to start somewhere. The slumping Rangers might provide the answer.

Texas has dropped four straight while scoring just eight total runs. It ranks 13th in the AL in on-base percentage (.301) and in hits (93).

Boston would love to take advantage. It has started a stretch of 20 out of 26 games at home by going 0-4.