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Boston Red Sox (14-7) at Texas Rangers (9-12), 2:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Derek Lowe (3-1, 3.86)
Texas - Ryan Drese (1-1, 11.05)
(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers hope to make it two straight wins this
afternoon when they play the rubber match of their three-game set with the
Boston Red Sox at the Ballpark in Arlington.
John Thomson worked seven strong innings and Juan Gonzalez and Michael Young
each drove in two runs, as the Rangers claimed a 6-1 win on Wednesday in a
game that featured a one hour and 24 minute rain delay.
Thomson (1-2) allowed just one run on six hits, walked one and struck out
three en route to his first career American League win. Thomson was signed by
Texas as a free agent in January after spending the previous five seasons in
the National League.
Hank Blalock went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Ryan Christenson homered for Texas.
Blalock raised his team-leading average to .422, and with six games remaining
in the month, is now within striking distance of Ivan Rodriguez's club record
for April of .446.
Tim Wakefield (2-1) took the loss after surrendering four runs on seven hits
in 5 1/3 innings. He walked three and fanned five.
Johnny Damon finished 2-for-3 for Boston, which fell for just the second time
in their last 10 games. The Red Sox trail the red-hot New York Yankees by four
games in the AL East.
Manny Ramirez ended the contest 1-for-3 and is 8-for-12 in his last three
games with a home run and three RBI, as his average has soared to .333.
Righthander Ryan Drese gets the call tonight for the Rangers and will be
looking to build upon his first win of the season in his last start. Drese,
who is 1-1 with a lofty 11.05 ERA, allowed four runs on nine hits over seven
innings in a 9-7 win over the Anaheim Angels. His only other start of the year
lasted just one-third of an inning and he was torched for six runs - five
earned - on four hits against the Seattle Mariners.
Drese is 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA in three appearances, including two starts,
against the Red Sox.
Countering for Boston will be 21-game winner from a year ago, Derek Lowe. The
29-year-old righthander is 2-1 on the season with a 3.86 ERA, but has won his
last two starts. In his last start Lowe yielded two runs on seven hits over
five innings in a 7-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. He also struck out five
and walked three.
Lowe is 2-2 with five saves and a 2.08 ERA in 22 career appearances, including
three starts, against the Rangers.
Boston was 4-3 against the Rangers last season and since the start of the 2001
season it is 17-9 against Texas, including an 8-7 mark in Arlington.
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