04/18/10 6:41 PM ET
Something's got to give for Rangers, Red Sox
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
As will Josh Hamilton and David Ortiz, who are both still searching for an outlet to plug their power swings into.
Texas looks to regroup after putting a trying New York weekend in its rearview mirror. In getting swept out of the Bronx, the Rangers were outscored 17-6 after having allowed a total of 27 runs in their first nine games of the season.
"We've got to go to Boston and get back to work," said Michael Young. "We play another good team and it should be another challenge."
Leading man on the spot off the mound: Hamilton, with one hit in his past 19 at-bats, and no homers and only two RBIs in all of his 41 at-bats.
"My swing feels great," Hamilton insisted. "I feel good at the plate and I'm seeing the ball great. My bat path is a little off ... a little too much uppercut."
And Boston needs to discover some offense after being put into its place in its own place by the Rays.
Four successive losses to Tampa Bay had the Red Sox saddled with six consecutive defeats at home. Boston hadn't dropped six in a row at Fenway Park since a doozy 12-game streak from June 3-29, 1994. Its 4-9 record is the club's worst start through 13 games since 1996, when it went 2-11.
Boston's new emphasis on pitching, speed and defense certainly hasn't yet worked out. Injuries to outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron haven't helped, but neither of them figure to supply what has been the team's major shortcoming -- power.
Jason Varitek, an invisible captain for the first week of the season, is second on the team with three homers. Dustin Pedroia has five of the Red Sox's other 12.
Ortiz has none, and only two RBIs, in his 38 at-bats.
Something will have to give between Boston's inability to hit with men in scoring position, and Texas starter Colby Lewis' refusal to give up a hit under those circumstances.
Lewis has retired all 11 men he has faced with a runner in scoring position. Red Sox batters are 0-for-31 with runners in scoring position since Jeremy Hermida's double in the eighth inning on Wednesday in Minnesota.
Rangers: Andrus picking up slack
Shortstop Elvis Andrus (1-for-3 Sunday) has hit safely in eight of his past nine games, batting .407 (11-for-27) over that stretch. ... Lewis has an odd pitching line through two starts: He has allowed an equal number of walks and hits, eight of each.
Red Sox: Wakefield set for '10 Fenway debut
Tim Wakefield will be seeking his 92nd career win at Fenway Park, where he will be making his first start at home after his first two outings came on the road. He's got a 91-69 record with a 4.30 ERA in 267 career games in Boston, but he might have a hard time getting No. 92 against the Rangers. Wakefiled is 10-15 with a 5.98 ERA in 33 total games against Texas in his career.
No one with the Rangers likes seeing Wakefield's knuckler more than Vladimir Guerrero. The Texas designated hitter has gone 9-for-21 (.429) against the veteran right-hander, including five homers and a double, good for a 1.190 slugging percentage.
With a double on Sunday, Adrian Beltre joined Guerrero as the only active players with at least 175 doubles and 100 home runs in each league. ... Ryan Westmoreland, the 19-year-old Red Sox outfield prospect who had surgery to remove a cavernous malformation in his brain, took in Sunday's game in general manager Theo Epstein's box. ... Hamilton and Ortiz had combined for 93 homers and 372 RBIs the past two seasons.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.