|Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rangers matchups: Jon Lester vs. Ryan Dempster||08.07.12 at 9:20 am ET|
The Red Sox continue a three-game set against the AL West-leading Rangers as Jon Lester takes the mound on Tuesday.
Lester’s season has been chock full of issues as he has an ugly 5.36 ERA and a 5-9 record. His July was atrocious as he went winless in five starts, posying a disastrous 9.36 ERA. In three straight starts Lester was unable to make it through the fifth. He hit rock bottom against the Blue Jays on July 22 when he allowed 11 runs on nine hits in only four innings.
The lefty rebounded in his last outing, going eight innings and allowing three runs on seven hits, but the Red Sox batters couldn’t muster any run support as the team fell 5-0 to the Twins on Aug. 2.
The 28-year-old is a decent 3-2 with a 4.47 ERA in nine starts against the Rangers in his career. The Texas hitters are very familiar with Lester as seven batters have more than 10 at-bats vs. him. Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz have had great success against Lester, going 6-for-16 and 8-for-14, respectively. Mike Napoli also has good numbers against him, going 6-for-10.
Opposite Lester is Ryan Dempster, whom Texas acquired from the Cubs at the trade deadline to bolster its staff. This will be Dempster’s second start for the Rangers.
The righty has been strong this season with a 5-5 record and a 2.82 ERA. His ERA ranks 10th among all MLB pitchers. From June 5 to July 14, over a span of five starts and 33 innings, Dempster didn’t allow a run.
However, his American League debut was a disaster, as he allowed eight runs and nine hits in only 4 2/3 innings on Aug. 2. But the Texas batters rallied for 15 runs, relieving Dempster of the ugly performance and allowing the team to get the win over the AL West rival Angels.
Good news for the Red Sox is that the 35-year-old has a 5.11 ERA against Boston in his career, although he is 2-1 in four starts. Earlier in the season Dempster threw seven scoreless innings against the Red Sox on June 15 in a 3-0 Cubs win at Wrigley Field. Since Dempster has pitched the majority of his career in the NL he is relatively unfamiliar with the Red Sox batters. Former Padre Adrian Gonzalez has the most at-bats vs. him and is 2-for-17.
Rangers vs. Lester (LHP)
Michael Young (30 plate appearances): .321 BA/.367 OBP/.500 SLG, 2 doubles, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
Ian Kinsler (23): .200/.304/.500, 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
Josh Hamilton (22): .286/.318/.429, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 stirkeouts
Elvis Andrus (18): .313/.389/.375, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Adrian Beltre (17): .375/.412/.438, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Nelson Cruz (15): .571/.600/1.071, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Mike Napoli (11): .600/.636/1.300, 1 double, 2 home runs, 5 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
David Murphy (9): .222/.222/.333, 1 double, 4 strikeouts
Craig Gentry (1): 1.000/1.000/1.000
Red Sox vs. Dempster (RHP)
Adrian Gonzalez (20 plate appearances): .118 BA/ .250 OBP/.471 SLG, 2 home runs, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts
Cody Ross (16): .133/.188/.333, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
Nick Punto (6): .000/.333/.000, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Dustin Pedroia (4): .000/.250/.000, 1 walk
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (4): .250/.250/.500, 1 double
Mike Aviles (3): .667/.667/.667
Carl Crawford (3): .333/.333/.333, 2 strikeouts
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