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Saturday’s Red Sox-Rangers matchups: Jon Lester vs. Martin Perez

05.10.14 at 8:44 am ET
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The Red Sox will head into the middle game of their three-game series against the Rangers on Saturday when they send Jon Lester to the mound against Martin Perez.

Lester comes into Saturday’€™s contest after he set a career-high for strikeouts in his most recent outing. The southpaw earned his third win of the season after he gave up just one hit and two walks with 15 K’s over eight scoreless innings on the mound against the Athletics. Oakland’€™s only hit in the first eight innings came in the third on a soft line drive to right by Craig Gentry.

“That was the best combination of power and command that he has shown and might be one of the handful of games in his entire major league career where it has been that precise, that powerful, for a full eight innings,” said manager John Farrell on Dale & Holley earlier this week. “There’€™s been some talk of his no-hitter a couple of years ago against Kansas City and how does it rank up to that. I would say that he had overall better control and command within the strike zone his last time out than he did in the no-hitter.”

The Red Sox went on to defeat the Athletics 6-3 after Chris Capuano struggled in the ninth and gave up three earned runs.

Lester last faced the Rangers on June 6, 2013, in what was ultimately a 6-3 win by the Red Sox. Lester got a no-decision after he gave up three earned runs on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts during the six-inning outing. All three of Texas’€™ runs came off the long ball as Jeff Baker, who now plays for the Marlins, hit a two-run home run and Adrian Beltre hit a solo shot in the third. Overall, Lester has gone 3-3 with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.387 WHIP in 12 starts against the Rangers. The lefty struggled against Texas in 2012 as he went 0-2 with an 11.42 ERA over 8 2/3 innings on the mound. He bounced back in 2013 as he gave up six runs over 12 innings but came away with a no-decision in his two appearances.

Unlike Lester, Perez comes into Saturday’€™s game after picking up two straight loses. In his last outing, Perez gave up five earned runs on seven hits and three walks, with five strikeouts over five innings of work against the Rockies. That outing came roughly one week after he gave up eight earned runs over 4 2/3 innings to the Athletics.

The 23-year-old lefty has limited experience against the Red Sox and holds an overall 1-0 record with a 3.65 ERA and a WHIP of 1.459 in two appearances against Boston. That one win came against Boston this season as Perez gave up four earned runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings on April 8. The Rangers went on to win that game 10-7.

Red Sox vs. Perez (LHP)

Jonny Gomes (9 plate appearances): .286 AVG/.444 OBP/.286 SLG, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (6): .167/.167/.333, 1 double

Xander Bogaerts is hitless in three at-bats vs. Perez.

Will Middlebrooks (3): .667/.667/.667

Mike Napoli (3): 1.000/1.000/1.000, 1 RBI

David Ortiz has one strikeout in three at-bats vs. Perez.

A.J. Pierzynski (3); .667/.667/.667, 1 RBI

Grady Sizemore (3): .667/.667/.667

Jackie Bradley Jr., has one strikeout in two plate appearances vs. Perez.

Rangers vs. Lester (LHP)

J.P. Arencibia (46): .182/.217/.364, 2 doubles, 2 HR, 7 RBIs, 2 walks, 18 strikeouts

Alex Rios (45): .250/.333/.300, 2 doubles, 4 RBIs, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts

Elvis Andrus (27): .240/.296/.280, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Adrian Beltre (26): .360/.385/.520, 1 double, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Shin-Soo Choo (17): .077/.176/.077, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts

Prince Fielder (16): .267/.313/.267, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Mitch Moreland (3): .333/.333/1.333, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

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