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Sunday’s Red Sox-Rangers matchups: Jon Lester vs. Yu Darvish

05.05.13 at 8:47 am ET

Jon Lester will look to move past his recent shaky starts on Sunday in Texas, facing Yu Darvish and the Rangers at 3:05 p.m.

After opening the year impressively, Lester’s performance fell off somewhat in his last two appearances. He walked six over 5 2/3 innings against the A’s on April 24, although he limited the damage to three runs and still picked up the win as the Sox offense helped him out.

Then, in his last start, Lester had his worst outing of the year, giving up six runs (five earned) on six hits and two walks over six innings as the Sox lost to the Blue Jays, 9-7, on April 30.

Lester still has a 1.14 WHIP and a 3.11 ERA through his first six starts of the year. He’s struck out 33 and walked 12 in 37 2/3 innings.

The Rangers haven’t been the most pleasant opponent for Lester to face over his career. He’s made 10 starts against them since 2006 and has a 4.57 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. His worst struggles came last year, as he only logged 8 2/3 innings in total over two starts and gave up 11 runs on 14 hits and six walks.

Darvish’s only career outing against the Sox ended in a loss, as he allowed six runs in 6 1/3 innings on Aug. 6, 2012. The 26-year-old from Japan is off to an excellent start in his second season with the Rangers, though, with a 2.33 ERA and an 0.93 WHIP through six April starts.

In five of his six starts, Darvish has struck out at least eight batters. Last time out, he fanned nine and walked three, allowing four runs as the Rangers beat the White Sox, 10-6.

Of the current Sox, Darvish has taken a beating from Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury has two doubles in his four appearances against Darvish, and Pedroia has three in the same number of PAs.

Nelson Cruz has dominated Lester in 18 PAs against him, hitting .529/.556/.941 with a home run, a triple and two doubles. Ian Kinsler has homered twice off of Lester in his 26 appearances.

Red Sox vs. Darvish (RHP)

Mike Carp (5): .000 BA/.200 OBP/.000 SLG, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (4): .500/.500/1.000, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Will Middlebrooks (4): .000/.250/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Dustin Pedroia (4): .750/.750/1.500, 3 doubles, 1 RBI

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (4): .000/.250/.000, 1 walk

Pedro Ciriaco, Stephen Drew, Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava, David Ortiz and David Ross have never faced Darvish.

Rangers vs. Lester (LHP)

Ian Kinsler (26): .217/.308/.478, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts

Elvis Andrus (21): .263/.333/.316, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Adrian Beltre (20): .316/.350/.368, 1 double, 3 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Nelson Cruz (18): .529/.556/.941, 1 HR, 1 triple, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

A.J. Pierzynski (15): .308/.286/.385, 1 double, 3 RBI, 3 strikeouts

David Murphy (12): .273/.250/.455, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 4 strikeouts

Jeff Baker (7): .857/.857/1.000, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Lance Berkman (3): .000/.000/.000, 3 strikeouts

Geovany Soto (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Craig Gentry (1): 1.000/1.000/1.000, 1 single

Leury Garcia, Leonys Martin and Mitch Moreland have never faced Lester.

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