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Red Sox turn to Lackey in rubber match with Rangers

(SportsNetwork.com) - Veteran John Lackey tries to extend his recent string of success on Sunday afternoon when the Boston Red Sox conclude a three-game series with the Texas Rangers.

Lackey has yielded just five runs over his last three starts, winning the first two before getting a no-decision versus Oakland last Sunday. That has the 35-year-old 4-2 on the season with a 3.72 earned run average.

Lackey was charged with a pair of runs over six innings versus the Athletics on five hits and three walks. However, Boston lost the contest 3-2.

While the right-hander picked up a home win over the Rangers on April 7, giving up one unearned run over seven innings, he is just 13-15 against them in his career with a 5.81 ERA.

Texas will hope that Robbie Ross Jr. can snap out of a funk today that has seen him go 0-3 with an 8.10 ERA in his last four starts.

Ross has allowed 23 hits over his last two starts, a pair of 12-1 defeats. He lost to Colorado last time out on Tuesday, allowing six runs and 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings.

The 24-year-old southpaw is 1-3 with a 4.74 ERA on the season and faced the Red Sox for the first time as a starter back on April 9. He pitched well in a no-decision, giving up one unearned run over 5 1/3 frames despite two hits and six walks.

Ross, though, has walked only four batters over his other six outings.

The Red Sox drew even in this series with Saturday's 8-3 victory. Shane Victorino had three hits and drove in four runs, while David Ortiz launched a solo homer and scored twice in Boston's fifth victory in seven games.

A night after coming one out away from being no-hit by Texas' Yu Darvish, Boston scored six times in the game's first four innings.

"The attitude in the clubhouse early before the game was nothing about last night," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "It was more about how we were going to attack (Texas starter Martin) Perez, and we did a very good job."

Jon Lester, who struck out a career-best 15 batters last Saturday against Oakland, earned the win after going seven innings and allowing three runs on four hits with eight strikeouts.

Perez, meanwhile, was tagged with the loss for giving up six runs over 3 2/3 innings.

"I don't know if something's out of whack, but it didn't seem like he could get in a rhythm," Texas manager Ron Washington said of Perez following his club's fourth loss in six games.

Elvis Andrus, Prince Fielder and Alex Rios all knocked in a run for Texas.

Boston took two of three from the Rangers earlier in the year.

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