The Texas Rangers kick off their final homestand at Globe Life Park when they welcome the Boston Red Sox for the start of a three-game series Tuesday night.
The Rangers (75-81) will conclude their season with three games against the New York Yankees over the weekend before moving across the street to a new facility next year, Globe Life Field. The change marks the end of an era for Texas, which has played at its current ballpark since 1994.
Rangers right-hander Edinson Volquez (0-1, 5.02 ERA) will kick off the series opposite Boston southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez (18-6, 3.53).
The Red Sox come in having lost three of four on the road to the Tampa Bay Rays, including a 7-4 setback in Monday’s finale. Despite the poor results, manager Alex Cora was impressed by his team’s play during the series, which included two 11-inning defeats. Boston even had the tying run at the plate during the ninth inning Monday.
“I like the fact that we’re going out there and competing,” Cora said. “I do feel we’re playing until the finish line, and that’s what you want.”
Despite being eliminated from postseason contention, the Red Sox (81-75) are expecting to go all out Tuesday in support of Rodriguez’s bid for his first 20-win season. The left-hander has a 1.00 ERA over his past seven starts as he also pursues 200 strikeouts (currently at 199) and 200 innings (currently at 191 1/3) for the first time in his career.
“If you win 20, you did a lot of good things,” Cora said. “I think 200 innings is more important to him than anything else. I think it’s a good number. If he gets a chance to do it, we’ll push for it.”
Rodriguez was masterful his last time out, allowing only an unearned run on two hits and striking out 10 over six innings against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday. He is 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA in three career starts against the Rangers.
Texas, which was off Monday, ended a seven-game skid when it beat the Oakland Athletics 8-3 in the finale of a five-game road trip Sunday. The Rangers slugged five homers in the contest, tying their season high, accomplished three other times.
“We needed that one,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “Walking around the clubhouse and talking to guys, I didn’t sense anybody with their heads down. They were just maybe frustrated because nobody likes losing, and they were like, ‘What do we have to do to win a game?'”
Texas is 42-33 at home this season. The Rangers and Red Sox split when they met during a four-game series in Boston back in June.
Volquez is expected to open for the Rangers ahead of fellow righty Ariel Jurado, who has produced a 9.23 ERA across his past seven outings, including four starts. Jurado (7-10, 5.73 ERA) faced the Red Sox for the first time earlier this season, when he allowed three runs on five hits over six innings in a 9-5 win.
–Field Level Media