Tune in at 7:10 PM ET as the Rangers take on the Red Sox. Callum Hughson will be liveblogging for your enjoyment.
Ryan Dempster hopes his second start for the Texas Rangers goes a lot better than the first. The right-hander looks to bounce back from a rough debut with his new team and help the AL West-leading Rangers avoid a third consecutive loss tonight against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Dempster (0-0, 15.43 ERA) went 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA in 16 starts for the Chicago Cubs this year, but allowed a season-high eight runs and nine hits -- two homers -- in 4 2/3 innings of a 15-9 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday in his first start since Texas (63-45) acquired him two days prior.
Dempster allowed five hits in seven innings of a 3-0 win over Boston at Wrigley Field on June 15. This will be his first outing at Fenway since June 12, 2001, when he lost while pitching for the Marlins.
He'll face a Boston squad that's looking for a third straight win after pounding out eight doubles in a 9-2 victory in Monday's series opener. Dustin Pedroia doubled three times while Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford each had two as the Red Sox (55-55) increased their major league-leading doubles total to 243.
Boston had been outscored 39-12 while losing four of its previous five against Texas this season. The victory came hours after owner John Henry publicly gave first-year manager Bobby Valentine a vote of confidence despite the team's mediocre season.
Crawford, who went 0 for 10 with five strikeouts during a three-game set at Texas last month, is 9 for 18 with eight RBIs in his last four games.
The Red Sox now hand the ball to Jon Lester (5-9, 5.36), who is 0-4 with a 7.91 ERA in six starts since the beginning of July. Though he's posted a 10.62 ERA while losing his last four home outings, Lester showed improvement Thursday, when he gave up three runs and struck out seven with no walks in eight innings of a 5-0 loss to Minnesota at Fenway.
The left-hander is certainly hoping for a better effort than his last versus the Rangers on April 17, when he gave up seven runs and walked four in two-plus innings of an 18-3 home loss. Lester had been 2-1 with a 2.97 ERA in five starts against Texas from 2009-11.
Nelson Cruz -- 8 for 14 with two doubles, a triple and a home run against Lester -- had two doubles and a single Monday. He's a lifetime .415 hitter with eight doubles in 13 games at Fenway.
Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus is expected to be in the lineup after missing Monday's game with a sore shoulder. The All-Star is 11 for 25 with seven RBIs in his last five games after going 1 for 19 in his previous five.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Entering Monday, Ian Kinsler is hitting .426 with a .593 slugging percentage against left-handed pitchers on the road. He'll face Jon Lester, who has struggled at home (2-7 with a 6.96 ERA) in Boston.
Boston Red Sox
Ian Kinsler steps in the box to lead off the game for the Rangers. The first pitch from Lester is.....
.....a ball, outside. We're underway!
Lester strikes out Kinsler swinging on a cut fastball at the knees and inside for the 1st out. That will bring up the Rangers' shortstop Elvis Andrus.
Lester is sweating like a pig roasting over an open fire.
Andrus grounds out to Adrian Gonzalez, who flips to Lester for the 2nd out. Josh Hamilton steps to the plate.
Hamilton flies out to left field for the 3rd out. Lester works a 1-2-3 1st inning.
The Red Sox will send Ellsbury, Crawford and Pedroia to the plate in the bottom of the 1st.
Ellsbury strikes out swinging for the 1st out of the inning.
Crawford hits a fastball on the outside corner deep - off the top of the Green Monster. Crawford is safe at 2nd standing up with a 1-out double. Dustin Pedroia will try to cash him in.
Crawford gets caught sleeping. Dempster picks him off 2nd for the 2nd out. Bad timing because Pedroia gets a wall-ball single that probably would have scored the 1st run of this game.
With 2 out and Pedroia at 1B, Adrian Gonzalez will bat.
Gonzalez hits a comebacker to the mound to end the inning.
The game-time temperature is 75-degrees. It must be extremely humid. Otherwise I can't explain why both starting pitchers are sweating profusely.
Beltre, Cruz and Young will bat for the Rangers in the top of the 2nd.
Beltre is currently on a 5-game hitting streak.
He won't extend it in this at-bat: Beltre grounds out to Mike Aviles at SS for the 1st out of the inning. That brings up Nelson Cruz.
Cruz is batting .571 in his career vs. Jon Lester.
Nelson ups his average against Lester with a single up the middle. With 1 on and 1 out, Michael Young will come to the plate.
Young hits a one-hopper - sharply - to Aviles who steps on the bag at 2nd and completes the double play to end the Rangers' 2nd.
Cody Ross, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike Aviles will bat for the Red Sox in the home-half of the 2nd.
Ross hits a high flyball off the Green Monster for a leadoff double here in the 2nd. Jarrod Saltalamacchia will bat.
Dempster drops what looked like a nasty split-fingered fastball to get Saltalamacchia swinging. Mike Aviles will bat with one out.
Aviles grounds out to SS but Ross advances to 3B on the play. With a runner on 3rd and 2 out, Ryan Kalish will step to the plate.
Kalish grounds out to Mike Olt at 1B to end the inning.
Soto, Murphy and Olt will bat for the Rangers in the 3rd.
Soto grounds out to SS for the 1st out. David Murphy steps to the plate.
David Murphy is a former 1st-round draft pick of the Red Sox. He's hitting an even .300 on the season.
Murphy fouls out to Nick Punto in foul territory. He almost has to lean over the railing - with no help from those in the Rangers dugout (not until after the caught the ball, that is).
After working the count full, Mike Olt strikes out swinging on a breaking ball in the strike zone for out #3. That's Jon Lester's 2nd strikeout of the game.
Punto, Ellsbury and Crawford will bat for the Red Sox in the bottom of the 3rd.
Nick Punto flies out to CF; Jacoby Ellsbury flies out to Elvis Andrus in shallow CF for two quick outs.
Crawford strikes out to end the inning. Ryan Dempster has 3 strikeouts so far in this game.
I can't believe what I'm seeing. The Red Sox are playing in a game in which the first 3 innings have been completed in under an hour.