Red Sox face Rangers, look to avoid rare series loss

MLB

The Boston Red Sox will seek to avoid losing their first series since opening weekend when they visit the Texas Rangers in the conclusion of a four-game set Sunday afternoon.

The Rangers have won two of three in the series, including an 8-6 victory Saturday night. Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Willie Calhoun each homered and had three hits to lead Texas to only its third win in its past nine games.

The Red Sox have either won or tied each of their seven series since losing three straight to the Baltimore Orioles to begin the season. Boston’s defeat Saturday was just its second in its past six contests.

Right-hander Garrett Richards (1-2, 4.94 ERA) will take the mound for the Red Sox on Sunday looking to build off a seven-inning, 10-strikeout performance in his most recent outing, a 2-1 victory over the Mets on Tuesday. Righty Mike Foltynewicz (1-3, 4.61) will get the nod for the Rangers.

Boston had much to lament after Saturday’s loss, in which it left 10 runners on base. The team had the bases loaded with no outs ahead 5-3 in the fifth inning but couldn’t add further, then loaded the bases again with two outs in the eighth down a run. Xander Bogaerts grounded to third to end the threat.

“We had chances all over the place today,” skipper Alex Cora said postgame. “I know we scored some runs, but we had a chance to score some more.

“We have to do a better job.”

The Red Sox received a scare in the ninth inning when third baseman Rafael Devers appeared to suffer a shoulder injury on a swing-and-miss. Devers stayed in the game; Cora did not indicate whether he would miss any playing time.

While Boston struggled to get runners home, Texas made the most of its opportunities late, most notably when Calhoun’s two-run homer put the team ahead for good in the sixth inning.

“We got him for Yu Darvish for a reason,” Kiner-Falefa said of Calhoun, who was acquired by the Rangers in 2017. “You’re starting to see that.”

Texas’ victory was only its sixth at home in 15 tries this season.

“We’ll go toe-to-toe with anybody; we’re not afraid of a situation,” manager Chris Woodward said. “Doesn’t mean we’re going to win every game, but at the same time, we expect to. I think you’re starting to see that a little bit now.”

The Rangers have been victorious in Foltynewicz’s past two starts. He allowed one run on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings to earn the win his last time out against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.

Foltynewicz is 1-0 with a 1.65 ERA in four games (two starts) against the Red Sox.

Richards enters off his best showing of the season, in which he held the Mets to one run on seven hits over his seven innings. The veteran has been inconsistent in his first year with Boston, though he’s pitched at least five innings in three of his past four starts.

Richards, a longtime member of the Angels, is 9-4 with a 2.91 ERA in 23 games (19 starts) vs. Texas.

–Field Level Media

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