Texas Rangers (24-22) at Boston Red Sox (23-21)
Wednesday, May 24 - 7:10 PM EST
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Chris Sale will continue his pursuit of history when he leads the Boston Red Sox into the second of three games against the visiting Texas Rangers on Wednesday. The dominant left-hander has struck out at least 10 batters in eight straight starts, tied for the second-longest such run since 1900 behind only former Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez, who did it 10 times between 1999 and 2000.
Sale has not had much run support during his outstanding start but Boston has had the bats going in back-to-back wins over Oakland (12-3) and in Tuesday's series opener (11-6). Xander Bogaerts led a 12-hit attack with three of his own while driving in three runs and scoring four as the Red Sox improved to 22-6 at home against American League West teams over the past year. Texas has lost two of three following its 10-game winning streak and is 8-14 on the road. Joey Gallo slugged his team-leading 14th homer in the 11-6 defeat while Nomar Mazara had a pair of singles to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FSN Southwest (Texas), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers LH Martin Perez (2-5, 3.71 ERA) vs. Red Sox LH Chris Sale (4-2, 2.19)
Perez has limited opponents to two earned runs in each of his three May starts, winning for the first time in over a month last week against Philadelphia. He struck out a season-high eight while holding the Phillies to two runs in seven frames, issuing zero walks for the second time this month. A native of Venezuela, Perez has been rocked for 15 runs (11 earned) in 10 1/3 innings in his career at Fenway Park.
While he continues to pile up the strikeouts, Sale has been a bit more human in allowing at least two runs over five consecutive outings. He had won three starts in a row before taking a no-decision in a 3-2 loss at Oakland on Friday. The 28-year-old Florida native is 4-2 with a 3.29 ERA in 11 career appearances (seven starts) versus Texas and has particularly dominated Elvis Andrus (2-for-23, seven strikeouts), Shin-Soo Choo (1-for-19, 10 strikeouts) and Mike Napoli (3-for-18, seven strikeouts).
1. Boston 1B Mitch Moreland is 7-for-23 with three homers and seven RBIs during a five-game hitting streak.
2. Rangers C Jonathan Lucroy has hit safely in 10 consecutive contests.
3. Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia has not committed an error 77 straight games.
PREDICTION: Red Sox 5, Rangers 3