Red Sox-Rangers Preview

While Wandy Rodriguez is enjoying somewhat of a revival with the surging Texas Rangers, Joe Kelly could be pitching for the last-place Boston Red Sox with his rotation spot on the line.

Rodriguez will try for his second win in 11 days over the visiting Red Sox on Sunday, when Kelly hopes to keep the Rangers from their 10th win in 12 games by rebounding from the worst start of his career.

After averaging 7.8 runs in its previous six games to cover for a rotation that had an 8.19 ERA, Texas (25-25) has received key contributions from its starters in taking two of the first three in this series.

Nick Martinez allowed two runs over seven innings in the opener before Yovani Gallardo gave up one earned run over six in Friday's 7-4 win. Top prospect Chi Chi Gonzalez then took a no-hitter into the sixth in Saturday's 8-0 rout.

The Rangers now have a chance to move above .500 for the first time since June 6. They're also going for their first home series win this season after failing six times.

''We've got to get on that roll, that this is our house,'' manager Jeff Banister said.

Texas has won four of the five games this month started by Rodriguez, who was an opening day signing after getting released by Atlanta. He's held teams to one run in four of seven starts, though those outings have come on the road. He's failed to make it out of the fifth inning in either start in Arlington.

Rodriguez (2-2, 3.60 ERA) seeks better command after allowing three runs while walking five over 5 1-3 innings in a 4-3 win at Cleveland on Tuesday. He did not factor in the decision after surrendering a pair of first-inning home runs.

The left-hander gave up one run and four hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 3-1 win at Fenway Park on May 21. He should be able to replicate that success against a Boston team that is hitting an AL-worst .214 versus lefties.

David Ortiz (7 for 58), Pablo Sandoval (5 for 46) and Mookie Betts (9 for 47) are among those scuffling against left-handers. Ortiz had two of the team's five hits Saturday after sitting out two games in the midst of a 3-for-31 slump.

Kelly (1-4, 6.24) reportedly may be on the verge of losing his place in the rotation after he was tagged for seven runs and eight hits in a career-low 1 2-3 innings in Monday's 7-2 loss at Minnesota.

He had posted a 2.03 ERA in his previous two outings following a four-start stretch in which he went 0-2 with an 8.86 mark.

"There's no denying the stuff," manager John Farrell, whose club has lost eight of 11, told MLB's official website.

In his only start versus Texas since 2013, Kelly yielded two runs over seven innings in a 2-1 home defeat May 20. The right-hander struck out seven but Robinson Chirinos' third-inning home run proved to be the difference.

Adrian Beltre has gone 3 for 6 when facing Kelly, but he's just 1 for 13 in this series. Leonys Martin is 7 for 18 in his last five home meetings with the Red Sox (22-28) after going 2 for 4 with two RBIs Saturday.

Adam Rosales is 5 for 7 with three runs scored in the past two games after he matched a career high with four hits.


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