The Red Sox' grueling 10-game road trip takes them to Texas where they will battle the heat and the Rangers in a three-game series that kicks off Friday night.
Boston is 4-3 on the trip but is coming off one of its worst losses of the season. John Lackey and Jonathan Papelbon combined to give up four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 6-5 loss at Toronto on Thursday.
The collapse spoiled a sweep and sent the Red Sox to Arlington four games behind Tampa Bay in the race for the wild card.
Texan Josh Beckett will try to rebound from a rough outing in New York when he takes the hill. Tommy Hunter goes for the first-place Rangers.
WHEN AND WHERE
Red Sox (66-50) at Rangers (65-48) Friday, August 13, 8:05 p.m. Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
The Rangers won five of six meetings at home last season.
RHP Josh Beckett (3-2, 6.21 ERA) vs. RHP Tommy Hunter (9-1, 3.01 ERA)
Beckett has made three steps forward and one step back since returning from a back injury. That negative step took place five days ago in New York, where the Yankees got to Beckett for seven runs on a season-high 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings.
The righty gave up seven runs on seven hits and five walks against Texas at home back in April, but he has enjoyed his time back in his home state. In three career starts at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington he is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA and one complete game.
Hunter has also done well in the Rangers' park. He is 6-0 with a 2.53 ERA at home this season. The 24-year-old right-hander is coming off 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a win over Seattle on Aug. 5. He defeated Boston in Fenway Park on July 15 with 6 2/3 solid frames.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Marco Scutaro, SS Victor Martinez, C David Ortiz, DH Adrian Beltre, 3B J.D. Drew, RF Mike Lowell, 1B Ryan Kalish, LF Jed Lowrie, 2B
Elvis Andrus, SS Michael Young, 3B Josh Hamilton, CF Vladimir Guerrero, DH Nelson Cruz, RF David Murpy, LF Bengie Molina, C Mitch Moreland, 1B Andres Blanco, 2B
Catcher Victor Martinez is batting .300 (12-for-40) over a 10-game hitting streak.
The Red Sox are 13-19 in day games.
Designated hitter David Ortiz has seven seasons in Boston with at least 25 home runs. That ties him with Jim Rice for second on the franchise list. Ted Williams leads the way with 14.
Lefty Cliff Lee's string of 10 straight starts of eight or more innings ended Wednesday against New York.
Designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero is batting .181 (15-for-83) over his last 22 games.
The Rangers are tied with the Yankees for the most home wins (37) in the American League.
BLACK AND BLUE
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia (broken left foot) is expected to begin a rehab assignment Saturday in Pawtucket. He may be back in the lineup next Tuesday at home.
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. He’s taking precaution with his return and is trying to rest as much as possible.
Catcher Jason Varitek (broken right foot) hit on the field for the first time Sunday. He remains at least a week behind Pedroia.
Left-hander Hideki Okajima was placed on the DL on Friday with a right hamstring strain.
Righty Junichi Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery in March. He is out for the year.
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.
The Red Sox are coming off a very difficult loss. The temperature will be near 100. Time to buck up.