The Texas Rangers sacrificed a pair of prospects at the treading deadline to bring in Ryan Dempster, hoping he was the type of starting pitcher the team could use at the top of the rotation in the postseason. The Boston Red Sox have been using Jon Lester as their No. 1 starter for years, but he just hasn’t been pitching like one this season. Both teams are hoping for better results when Dempster and Lester square off on Tuesday.
The Red Sox provide another strong test for Dempster with an offense that is firing at the top. Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez combined to go 11-for-18 with eight RBIs in Monday’s 9-2 series-opening win. Crawford is especially hot at the moment, batting .500 (9-for-18) with eight RBIs in his last four games. No slouches themselves, the Rangers remain the lone team in the American League with more runs scored than Boston but were held below four runs for the first time in six games on Monday.
Rangers Red Sox Betting
When: 7:10 PM ET, Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSSW (Texas), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers RH Ryan Dempster (0-0, 15.43 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Jon Lester (5-9, 5.36)
Dempster had a terrible debut for Texas last week. Thrown right into the middle of the burgeoning Rangers-Angels rivalry, the longtime Chicago Cub was knocked around for eight runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. The veteran sinkerball pitcher could not keep the ball down at Rangers Ballpark and yielded a pair of home runs. Dempster faced the Red Sox during interleague play on June 15 and dominated, yielding five hits in seven scoreless innings to earn the win.
Lester has not won since June 27 but can be encouraged by his last outing, when he allowed three runs on seven hits in eight innings during a no-decision against Minnesota. The veteran left-hander had posted a 12.27 ERA over his previous four turns. Lester had one of the worst starts of his career at home against the Rangers on April 18, getting tagged for seven runs in two-plus innings. He walked four and surrendered a home run to Mike Napoli in that drubbing.
1. Rangers SS Elvis Andrus (shoulder) was hurt Sunday and was held out of Monday’s contest. Andrus expects to be back on Tuesday. Michael Young got his first start at short this season in his absence.
2. Boston All-Star DH David Ortiz (Achilles) plans to get an injection in his bothersome right heel but there is still no date set for his return.
3. Texas RHP Roy Oswalt, who was bounced from the starting rotation when Dempster joined the team, will continue to pitch out of the bullpen despite his reported displeasure.