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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, June 5th (All times Eastern)

Texas Rangers (35-22) at Boston Red Sox (36-23), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Alexi Ogando (4-2, 3.08) Boston - John Lackey (3-5, 2.96)

(Sports Network) - John Lackey hopes that the Boston Red Sox have some life left in their bats when he takes the ball for them in the middle test of a three-game series versus the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park.

Boston's offense exploded in Monday's opener, as Mike Carp homered during a 3- for-4 performance that included three RBI and as many runs scored in the Red Sox's 17-5 shellacking of the Rangers.

"These things happen over 162 games. Sometimes you're going to have the chance to score a ton of runs and you don't stop," Carp admitted. "We were able to keep it going all night."

Jackie Bradley, Jr. homered and knocked in three runs, while David Ortiz added a pair of hits and also drove in three for the Red Sox, who have won eight of their last 11 overall.

Daniel Nava ended up with three hits, scored four times and added an RBI, Stephen Drew went deep among his four hits and knocked in a pair, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia contributed a home run, three hits and two runs driven in.

Ryan Dempster (3-6) did well enough to win, allowing five hits and three runs with six strikeouts over seven innings.

"I like my chances with 17 runs," Dempster quipped. "When you get that much breathing room, you fill up the zone a little more to try and get some quick outs."

Jeff Baker and Mitch Moreland each hit two-run homers for the Rangers, who stumbled to their fifth loss in the last eight, while A.J. Pierzynski hit safely three times.

Justin Grimm (5-4) departed after recording only five outs, charged with seven hits and eight runs while walking three.

Lackey gets the call on Wednesday, as he tries to get back on track after losing to Philadelphia his last time out. Lackey gave up three runs and six hits over six innings of that one to fall to 3-5 on the year to go along with a 2.96 ERA.

"The one thing he's done with increased consistency is he's worked ahead in the count," said Boston manager John Farrell. "He's been very good at establishing strike one. There has been consistently better later action to his secondary stuff."

Lackey has faced the Rangers 37 times and is 12-15 against them with a 6.14 ERA, Only Jack Morris (41), Roger Clemens (40) and Mike Moore (39) have started against Texas more.

Texas, meanwhile, will turn to righty Alexi Ogando, who will make his first appearance since May 15 against Oakland. Ogando has been sidelined with inflammation in his right triceps muscle and is 4-2 on the year with a 3.08 ERA.

Ogando beat the Red Sox earlier in the year and is 2-2 lifetime against them with a 3.93 ERA in nine games (2 starts).

Despite Tuesday's loss, Texas has won 11 of the last 15 overall meetings and 10 of 14 at Fenway Park.

06/05 10:23:50 ET