Mon, 04 Dec 2023

Rangers face Red Sox with division lead in sight

Field Level Media
20 Sep 2023, 17:25 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports)

The Texas Rangers will attempt to make it back-to-back victories over the Boston Red Sox when the teams wrap up a three-game series on Wednesday afternoon in Arlington, Texas.

After Boston opened the series with a 4-2 victory on Monday, Texas ended a four-game losing streak by winning 6-4 on Tuesday. The win moved the Rangers (83-68) within one-half game of the first-place Houston Astros (84-68) in the American League West. The Seattle Mariners are also 83-68.

"Great win," Texas manager Bruce Bochy said. "Great team win, character win ... all those things. A lot of good things the guys did, pitchers, position players, big hits. ... Much-needed win as we all know."

Rookie Josh Jung broke a 4-4 tie when his seventh-inning single drove in Marcus Semien. It was Jung's second game since returning from a six-week stint on the injured list caused by a fractured left thumb.

"So glad to be back," Jung said. "I don't like sitting there not being able to contribute in any way I can. ...

"We're in the dog days. It's going to be a fight every night."

The Red Sox (75-77) lost for the fifth time in six games as their pitchers walked eight batters on Tuesday.

"At this level (you) can't do that," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "Those guys are gonna keep coming and coming. (Corey) Seager, Semien, all those guys. The line keeps moving, they're going to get more at-bats and that's what happens.

"You keep pushing. We still have a chance (at the postseason), a very slight chance. You do everything possible to win the game. The organization deserves that, the players do, too, and obviously the fan base. We're going to do our best to win ballgames. As many as possible."

Right-hander Brayan Bello (12-9, 3.71 ERA) is scheduled to make the start for Boston on Wednesday. Bello recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts in his latest start, a 3-0 loss at Toronto on Friday night. He pitched six innings and limited the Blue Jays to four hits, but one of those hits was a three-run home run by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Bello has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his past six starts, and has a 4-2 record during that span.

"Throughout the season he's been our most consistent starter," Cora said. "Not too many people are talking about him throughout the league, but when you look up the innings and the (wins) and the ERA and all that stuff, it has been a solid season for him. He's gonna keep getting better."

Bello is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two career starts against Texas. He limited the Rangers to two runs on eight hits in seven innings during a 4-2 home win on July 5.

Right-hander Jon Gray (8-8, 4.05 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for Texas. Gray was the losing pitcher on Friday as Texas fell 12-3 to the Cleveland Guardians. He gave up three runs on seven hits and walked two in 3 2/3 innings.

Gray has allowed at least three earned runs in each of his past five starts and in seven of his past nine. He has a 5.72 ERA during that stretch.

In two career starts against Boston, Gray has a 1-1 record with a 3.38 ERA. He lost to Bello on July 5 after yielding four runs, three earned, on nine hits in six innings.

--Field Level Media

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