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08/14/10 6:44 PM ET

Rangers look to cap winning homestand

The Red Sox didn't make up any ground in the American League East standings or in the race for the AL Wild Card on Saturday against the Rangers.

They didn't lose any ground, either, and that's a good thing for those in Red Sox Nation.

Welcome to the dog days of August, where every game matters and memories are made.

On Friday, the Rangers, the leaders in the AL West, walked off on an extra-inning home run. On Saturday, Boston starter Jon Lester put his foot down and stymied the Texas offense.

Who will be the hero Sunday? Will it be Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka or Texas starter C.J. Wilson?

Here's what's certain: A Rangers victory would give the club a 3-2 record against the Yankees and Red Sox this week in Arlington. The road does not get any easier. The Rangers travel to Tampa for three games against the Rays next week.

As for Wilson, he received a no-decision in his last start, yielding three runs over 5 1/3 frames against the Yankees. He beat the Red Sox on July 18, fanning 10 over 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball. Overall, he's 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA in two starts against them this season.

Matsuzaka labored through his last start against the Blue Jays, giving up six hits and four runs in 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision. Opponents are still hitting just .229 against him.

The right-hander won his only career start at Texas in 2007.

Red Sox: Ellsbury returns to DL
Jacoby Ellsbury was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, his third DL stint of the season, because of a rib injury. The Red Sox will use a rotation of Eric Patterson, Darnell McDonald and Ryan Kalish in center field in Ellbury's absence. ... Left-handed reliever Hideki Okajima (right hamstring strain) will throw bullpen sessions Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday and be re-evaluated. ... The club has hit home runs in 11 of its last 13 games, with multi-home runs in seven of those contests. ... Closer Jonathan Papelbon is one save shy of his fifth straight year with at least 30 saves.

Rangers: Another multi-hit game for Cruz
Nelson Cruz racked up his seventh consecutive multi-hit game against the Red Sox on Saturday, two shy of the most consecutive multi-hit efforts vs. Boston dating to at least 1920. ... With the Rangers playing an afternoon game, manager Ron Washington said he will consider giving Vladimir Guerrero a day off on Sunday. ... Second baseman Ian Kinsler (strained groin) remains limited in what he can do. He has not started taking batting practice and is waiting for clearance from Dr. Keith Meister. ... Catcher Taylor Teagarden is expected to start at catcher on Sunday. ... The Texas Rangers Wives' Gift Basket Auction, which took place at Rangers Ballpark on Saturday, raised $18,000 for The Battered Women's Foundation.

Worth noting
Cruz's walk-off home run Friday was only the second walk-off homer allowed by Tim Wakefield in his career. His first came against Aaron Boone in Game 7 of the 2003 AL Championship Series. ... Boston third baseman Adrian Beltre has hit safely in 25 of 29 games since the All-Star break. J.D. Drew has hit safely in six straight games and has four home runs, six RBIs and five runs scored during that stretch.

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


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