Jon Lester, Red Sox Try to Pick Themselves up After Two Walk-Off Losses

Jon Lester, Red Sox Try to Pick Themselves up After Two Walk-Off Losses It's hard to imagine two days going any worse than the last two have gone for the Red Sox. They will look to the golden left arm of Jon Lester in an effort to recover Saturday night in Texas.

Boston blew a 5-2 lead in the ninth inning Thursday in Toronto and then opened the series with the Rangers by squandering a six-run advantage and eventually falling in the 11th.

The sickening setback kept the Red Sox five games out in the loss column in the wild-card race with 45 games to play.

Lester will be opposed by Texas righty Colby Lewis.

WHEN AND WHERE

Red Sox (66-51) at Rangers (66-48)
Saturday, Aug. 14, 8:05 p.m.
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, Texas

Live blog

HEAD TO HEAD

The Rangers have won five of the last six meetings.

PITCHING MATCHUP

LHP Jon Lester (12-7, 2.94 ERA) vs. RHP Colby Lewis (9-8, 3.37 ERA)

Lester righted the ship in his previous start, snapping a personal four-game losing streak with 6 1/3 scoreless innings against New York. Lester's losing streak actually began vs. Texas back on July 18 at Fenway Park. He allowed four runs — three earned — in eight innings of a 4-2 loss. The Rangers scored one run on an error and another on a steal of home in that one.

The Red Sox' lefty is 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA in six career starts against the Rangers.

Speaking of losing streaks, Lewis has dropped three straight decisions of his own. He has not pitched poorly, however, posting a 3.12 ERA and striking out 29 against eight walks in 26 innings.

Lewis' last win came in Fenway Park on July 16. He gave up three runs on four hits in five innings.

LINEUPS

Red Sox Rangers
Marco Scutaro, SS
J.D. Drew, RF
Victor Martinez, C
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Mike Lowell, 1B
Ryan Kalish, LF
Bill Hall, 2B
Eric Patterson, CF
Elvis Andrus, SS
Michael Young, 3B
Josh Hamilton, CF
Vladimir Guerrero, DH
Nelson Cruz, RF
David Murpy, LF
Jorge Cantu, 1B
Taylor Teagarden, C
Andres Blanco, 2B

STAT SHEET

Red Sox

  • Right fielder J.D. Drew has four home runs in as many games after going 14 games without one.
  • Right-hander Daniel Bard matched a season high with 29 pitches Monday in New York and topped it with 32 in Friday's series opener.
  • Boston has suffered back-to-back walk-off losses for the first time since 2004.

Rangers

  • Outfielder Josh Hamilton is hitting .397 (89-for-224) at home.
  • Texas is tied with Detroit for the most home wins in the AL (38).
  • Right-hander Tommy Hunter has given up 12 home runs in his last seven starts.

BLACK AND BLUE

Red Sox

  • Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury will received an MRI on his sore left side Saturday. He was experiencing pain in that area after a tumble in the first inning Friday. It is in the same spot as the broken ribs he suffered earlier in the year.
  • Infielder Jed Lowrie left Friday's game with heat exhaustion.
  • Second baseman Dustin Pedroia (broken left foot) will begin a rehab assignment Saturday in Pawtucket. He is expected to play second base and then DH on Sunday before returning to the Red Sox on Tuesday.
  • First baseman Kevin Youkilis had successful surgery Friday to repair the torn right adductor muscle on his right hand. He will miss the remainder of the season.
  • Center fielder Mike Cameron is on the DL with a lower abdominal strain. His activity is very limited.
  • Catcher Jason Varitek (broken right foot) did some running on the field Friday. He remains at least a week behind Pedroia.
  • Catcher Kevin Cash is on the DL with a left hamstring strain.
  • Left-hander Hideki Okajima was placed on the DL with a right hamstring strain.
  • Righty Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.

Rangers

  • Second baseman Ian Kinsler may return in late August or early September with a left groin strain.
  • Infielder Joaquin Arias is on the DL with a strained back muscle.
  • Catcher Matt Treanor is expected to begin a rehab assignment next week as he recovers from a sprained right knee.
  • Right-hander Dustin Nippert is on the DL with a head contusion.

OUTLOOK

The bright side of these painful losses? It can't get much worse.

With Lester on the mound there is always a chance for a turnaround.

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