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Friday’s Red Sox-Rangers matchups: Felix Doubront vs. Derek Holland

05.03.13 at 2:25 pm ET

The Red Sox and Rangers open an intriguing series on Friday, one that features two of the top teams in the league in the season’s first month. The opener will pit two young left-handers in Felix Doubront and Derek Holland.

Doubront enters at 3-0 with a 4.24 ERA. In 23 1/3 innings in April, Doubront allowed 20 hits, 13 walks and one home run while racking up an impressive 29 strikeouts. The Venezuela native has picked up the victory in each of his last three starts, while punching out eight in his last two.

He is coming off of a 6 2/3-inning effort, scattering four hits, three runs and four walks, in an 8-4 win over the Astros. Three of those walks came in a shaky two-run first frame, but Doubront settled in nicely after that.

“After the first inning, I was really focused and in the strike zone,” Doubront said. “I wasn’t thinking about my mechanics at all. Just throw the ball and get quick outs to go deep in the game. I was so proud that I did that. I flipped the switch after the first inning and I got the W.”

Doubront is 0-2 with a 10.32 ERA in 11 1/3 career innings against the Rangers. In his only 2012 start against the team, Doubront was roughed up for six earned runs in five innings and picked up the loss.

Holland is 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA. He has hurled 34 2/3 innings, allowing 24 hits, nine walks and two home runs while striking out 28. In his most recent outing, Holland was strong, but no run support cost him a chance at his second win. On Saturday, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits in seven innings of work as the Rangers were defeated by the Twins, 7-2.

“He’s been pitching and throwing the ball well,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “The results aren’t there, but he’s been throwing the ball well.”

Holland has had success against the Sox in his career, going 4-1 with a 3.00 ERA. In 33 innings, he has struck out 28.

Rangers hitters have had limited experience against Doubront, but Ian Kinsler has the most success. The second baseman is 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs vs. Doubront in his career. Dustin Pedroia has struggled a bit vs. Holland, hitting just .143, but he does have one career home run vs. him.

Red Sox vs. Holland (LHP)

Jacoby Ellsbury (14 plate appearances): .273 BA/.429 OBP/.364 SLG, 1 double, 3 walks

Dustin Pedroia (14): .143/.143/.357, 1 home run, 2 RBI, 1 strikeout

David Ortiz (10): .250/.400/.375, 1 double, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (8): .500/.625/1.000, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Mike Carp (5): .250/.400/1.000, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jonny Gomes (5): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Pedro Ciriaco (4): .500/.500/.500

Stephen Drew (4): .333/.500/.333, 1 walk

Will Middlebrooks (3): .667/.667/1.667, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Daniel Nava, David Ross, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Shane Victorino have never faced Holland.

Rangers vs. Doubront (LHP)

Elvis Andrus (7): .167/.286/.167, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Ian Kinsler (7): .600/.571/.800, 2 RBI, 1 double, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Nelson Cruz (6): .500/.667/.750, 1 RBI, 1 double, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

A.J. Pierzynski (5): .250/.400/.250, 1 RBI, 1 walk

Adrian Beltre (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 double, 1 strikeout

David Murphy (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Craig Gentry (2): .500/.500/.500

Mitch Moreland (2): .500/.500/.500, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Lance Berkman (1): .000/.000/.000

Jeff Baker, Leury Garcia, Leonys Martin and Geovany Soto have never faced Doubront.

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