Texas (61-58) at Boston (68-51)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Boston, MA
Temp: 54° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Tue Aug 12, 2008
  • TV: KDFI, NESN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Boston Red Sox will replace one knuckleballer with another when they open a three-game series with the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night at Fenway Park.

Right-hander Charlie Zink makes his major league debut in place of Tim Wakefield, who was placed on the disabled list Sunday with a stiff right shoulder. The 28-year-old Zink was 13-4 with a 2.89 ERA for Triple-A Pawtucket this season.

“Charlie has been throwing real good,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “I think that everybody felt like it was a breakout year for him.”

Zink, who will work on three days’ rest, tries to help the Red Sox (68-51) to a sixth straight victory over Texas. Boston swept a four-game set with the Rangers (61-58) at Fenway from April 18-21.

The Red Sox enter this contest coming off a 5-1 win over Chicago on Monday to split the four-game set and finish 4-3 on the road trip. Though Boston is four games back of AL East leader Tampa Bay, the Red Sox hold a two-game lead over the White Sox in the wild-card race.

J.D Drew went 2-for-4 with a two-run double Monday for Boston, which didn’t have a baserunner until the sixth inning or get a hit until the seventh versus Chicago’s John Danks.

Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury also had two hits with an RBI and is 11-for-22 with six runs driven in over his last seven contests. He is 6-for-14 versus Texas this season.

Francona rested slugger David Ortiz on Monday, but he is expected to be in the lineup versus the Rangers after going 7-for-16 with a homer and 11 RBIs against them this season.

The Rangers are coming off a 15-7 win at Baltimore on Sunday that snapped a four-game losing streak. While Texas tries to build off that victory, it will be without closer C.J. Wilson, who opted for season-ending elbow surgery.

“We’d like to have C.J. help us down the stretch, but he knows his elbow better than anyone else, and he didn’t feel he could help the club,” Texas general manager Jon Daniels said of Wilson, 2-2 with 24 saves in 28 chances with a 6.04 ERA.

The Rangers ended a rare scoring drought Sunday after the major’s top hitting team was held to four runs during their skid. Ian Kinsler had five hits with a homer and three RBIs, while Marlon Byrd went 4-for-6 with a home run and four RBIs for Texas, which is seven games back of Boston in the wild-card standings.

“We (had) a day off (Monday), go to Boston and try to catch up,” said Byrd, the AL player of the week who is 16-for-28 with two homers and eight RBIs in his last seven games. “That will tell us where we are at, at the end of that three-game span.”

Josh Hamilton added three hits, including his 28th homer with two men on for the Rangers, who tied a season high with 20 hits.

“It was a great time for us to start swinging the bats,” said All-Star Kinsler, who is 3-for-17 versus the Red Sox this season. “Hopefully, we’re going to Boston swinging the bats well.”

Scott Feldman (4-5, 4.67) looks to avoid a second straight loss for the Rangers despite allowing two runs and seven hits in seven innings of a 3-0 defeat to the New York Yankees on Thursday.

The right-hander is making his first career start against Boston, but has a 1.35 ERA in four relief appearances versus the Red Sox.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Feldman Hou vs. C. Zink Min
6-8 Record 0-0
5.29 ERA 16.62
74 K 1
56 BB 1
1.43 WHIP 2.77

Scoreboard

Tuesday, Aug 12