The series-opening win by the Boston Red Sox on Friday night did little to shake up the American League East standings, although there were several positives.
Boston left-hander Chris Sale threw five strong innings in his second start post-Tommy John surgery, and the offense emerged from a slump to back him in a 6-0 victory over the visiting Texas Rangers. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Red Sox, who remain in third place in the division after the New York Yankees similarly were victorious.
Still, Boston manager Alex Cora spoke about the impact of the team getting back on track.
“I hope this is something we can use to build off of,” Cora said. “We’re a good offensive team: We will score runs, and we know that. Little by little, we’re going to come out of this and we’re going to get on a roll.”
That quest will continue Saturday night in the second contest of the three-game set in Boston. Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (9-6, 4.97 ERA) will get the nod for Boston opposite Texas right-hander Jordan Lyles (5-10, 5.55).
The finale of the series on Sunday afternoon is in question because of a weather warning for the area as Tropical Storm Henri moves north. Both clubs are off Monday in case the game needs to be pushed back.
In Friday’s victory, Boston scored more runs than it did during the entirety of its three-game sweep at the hands of the Yankees during the week. Xander Bogaerts homered and drove in two runs to raise his RBI count to 13 in his past nine games, and six different batters doubled among the club’s 10 hits.
The Red Sox have won 10 of Rodriguez’s past 15 starts, including when he held the Baltimore Orioles to one unearned run over six innings last time out. The southpaw has struggled with control by walking 12 over his past 19 2/3 innings, but he has 32 strikeouts over that same time.
Rodriguez is 3-0 with a 4.91 ERA in five career starts against the Rangers. He took a no-decision on May 1 in Arlington, Texas, allowing four runs over five innings.
The Rangers have dropped four straight and 13 of their past 16 as they look toward the finish line of a lost season. The club is 14-46 on the road following Friday’s shutout loss.
“The at-bat quality when we get guys in scoring position hasn’t been there,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “It’s not so much about getting the big hit — it’s about the at-bat quality.”
Lyles has lost all three of his starts this month to go with a 9.00 ERA. He was roughed up for five runs over six innings against the Oakland Athletics in his last outing.
Lifetime against the Red Sox, Lyles is 0-1 with an 8.56 ERA in three starts. He surrendered five runs over four innings in a no-decision vs. Boston pitching opposite Rodriguez in May.
–Field Level Media