CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Tavarez seeks better fate vs. Rangers

Tavarez seeks better fate vs. Rangers

Chalk up another absurdity to the unbalanced schedule: on Sunday, the Rangers, who own the American League's best performance record against Julian Tavarez, will face the Red Sox's fifth starter for the third time this season.

No other AL team has encountered Tavarez as many times. And no other AL team has managed to pound out 6.20 earned runs per nine innings against the 34-year-old righty during his 15-year career.

Happily, Tavarez can count on a Rangers-free second half of the 2007 season when his weekend work is done. The Red Sox won't play Texas again after squaring off 10 times before the All-Star break.

But his work is not done. Here are the last-place Rangers, and Tavarez will have to figure them out. If he does, he'll have bounced back from a subpar start in Seattle on Monday, his first loss since May 11. He had lowered his ERA a full run, from 5.59 to 4.50, in barely a month.

The Rangers will send Kameron Loe to the Fenway Park mound. The 6-foot-7 right-hander's ugly numbers belie strong performances of late. Loe is the first member of his team's pitching staff to win three straight starts, and he owns a 2.07 ERA in those games.

Solid recent pitching isn't the only thing that differentiates these Rangers from the ones that Boston saw in April and May. Slugger Mark Teixeira, who hit a three-run homer against Tavarez on May 27, will not play. He has been disabled since June 9 with a strained left quadriceps.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Julian Tavarez (5-5, 4.60 ERA)
Tavarez has yielded eight earned runs in 9 2/3 innings against the Rangers this year, four each in starts on April 7 and May 27. On April 7, his first start of the season, the crime was walks; he issued five free passes in just four innings, including two to Texas nine-hole hitter Gerald Laird. The home run against Teixeira sunk Tavarez in his more recent start at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

TEX: RHP Kameron Loe (4-6, 6.02 ERA)
In one career start at Fenway Park, Loe threw five shutout innings, and he was credited with a victory after the game was called due to rain. The Red Sox have had success against the tall right-hander on other occasions, managing a .294 batting average and drawing eight walks in 21 innings, mostly on the road. Loe is 1-1 in his career against the Sox. He earned a no-decision against Tavarez on May 27.

Player to watch
Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek has pounded four hits in eight career at-bats against Loe, including a home run and a double.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• NESN

On radio
• WRKO 680, WROL (Español)

Up next
• Monday: Red Sox (Kason Gabbard, 1-0, 6.48) vs. Rangers (Brandon McCarthy, 4-4, 5.90), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 9-5, 3.80) vs. Devil Rays (Scott Kazmir, 5-4, 4.26), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 8-8, 4.31) vs. Devil Rays (Edwin Jackson, 1-8, 6.88), 1:05 p.m. ET

Alex McPhillips is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}