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07/11/10 1:09 PM ET

Red Sox, Rangers open second half at Fenway

Riddled with injuries for much of the first half of the season, the Red Sox have relied on their starting pitching to carry them.

That will not change come the second half.

Expected to continue with the same rotation after the All-Star break, Boston sends Tim Wakefield in the series opener against the Rangers on Thursday, followed by Felix Doubront, John Lackey, Jon Lester and Daisuke Matsuzaka.

"The first month of the season was really difficult for a lot of reasons, but we got through it," manager Terry Francona said. "I know it's not perfect, I recognize that, but the level of intensity and trying to do the right thing has been off the charts. It's been a challenge, but one that I think we've all kind of enjoyed."

As the staff aces, Clay Buchholz and Lester have been brilliant. Both selected to this year's All-Star team, Buchholz is 10-4 with a 2.45 ERA, while Lester is 11-3 with a 2.78 ERA.

While the Rangers have no 10-game winners, Colby Lewis has eight, C.J. Wilson has seven and Tommy Hunter is 5-0 with a 2.34 ERA, which has helped Texas remain atop the American League West.

With the recent addition of All-Star Cliff Lee, the Rangers have added an ace to the staff. Before coming over in a trade from the Mariners, Lee was 8-3 with a 2.34 ERA.

While Lee did give up six runs in nine innings in his Texas debut Saturday night, the club remains confident in his ability to win games.

"[He was] pounding the strike zone, throwing to contact," manager Ron Washington said. "They caught a couple, but that performance right there, without the runs on the board, I'll take it every day. He's going to be fine."

After the break, Washington's rotation will be Hunter, Lewis, Lee, Wilson and Scott Feldman.

Red Sox: Papi showing patience
David Ortiz's walk in Sunday's game against the Blue Jays, his 36th of the season, is the most in the Majors since May 28.

Rangers: Hunter hit and miss vs. Boston
In two games against the Red Sox, Hunter has a 1-1 record and an 11.74 ERA.

Worth noting
The Red Sox, who only play nine home games in July, return to Fenway Park after nearly two weeks away to face the Rangers in a four-game series.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.