Texas (32-27) at Boston (34-23)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Boston, MA
Temp: 9° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Jun 9, 2006
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The Texas Rangers will need to recover quickly after blowing another large lead when they travel to Fenway Park to begin a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox on Friday.

The Rangers let an 11-4 lead slip away on Thursday night against Kansas City and lost 16-12 to the majors’ worst team. The Royals set season highs for runs and hits (18) and snapped Texas’ three-game winning streak.

Even though the Rangers (32-27) squandered a big lead to the Royals, it wasn’t their worst collapse of the season. They led the Yankees 9-0 on May 16 before losing 14-13 in the largest blown lead in franchise history.

“You win some games that look pretty bleak, and you lose some you think you’ve got a pretty good chance to win,” Texas manager Buck Showalter said. “In between, we’ve done a pretty good job.”

This series concludes a 10-game road trip for the Rangers, who have gone 4-2 so far. They beat Boston 6-0 in 5 1/2 innings at Fenway Park on May 12 before the final two games of the series were rained out. The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday to make up one of those contests.

Winning at Boston (34-23) hasn’t been easy for visitors this season. The Red Sox are 16-8 at home, the second-best mark in the majors behind the Chicago White Sox (22-9).

The Rangers have lost 19 of their past 24 games at Fenway Park.

Boston avoided a three-game sweep by beating the rival Yankees 9-3 on Thursday night. The Red Sox finished 4-5 on a nine-game road trip and are a half-game behind New York for first place in the AL East.

Vicente Padilla (5-4, 5.29 ERA) looks to rebound from his shortest start of the season when he starts for Texas on Friday. He allowed seven hits and seven runs in 3 1-3 innings in an 8-6 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

It was his shortest outing since last Aug. 28. Pitching for Philadelphia, Padilla gave up four hits and six runs in three innings of a 10-5 loss to Arizona.

Padilla is 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA in three career appearances—two starts— against Boston, including a 10-4 victory on April 4 in which he allowed one run and four hits in six innings.

Tim Wakefield (4-7, 4.05) took the loss for Boston in that contest and looks to end a tough stretch when he takes the mound on Friday.

The knuckleballer has lost three of his last four starts, including a 6-2 loss to Detroit on Saturday in which he allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings.

Boston’s offense, though, hasn’t provided him with much support. The Red Sox are scoring 3.26 runs per game when Wakefield starts, the lowest run support average in the major leagues.

“You can’t think about it that way,” said Wakefield, who hasn’t had a losing season since 2001, when he finished 9-12. “I’ve got to make the pitches when I need to and try to keep us in the game.”

Wakefield has struggled against the Rangers, with six losses in his last eight decisions. He gave up seven hits and seven runs in 3 2-3 innings in the April 4 defeat.

In his career, Wakefield is 7-13 with four saves and a 6.27 ERA in 27 appearances versus Texas.

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Starting Pitchers

V. Padilla Bos vs. T. Wakefield Bos
15-10 Record 7-11
4.50 ERA 4.63
156 K 90
70 BB 51
1.38 WHIP 1.33