Rangers-Red Sox Preview
The Boston Red Sox are among the best offensive teams in baseball, so having their recent winning streak powered by their lineup isn't much of a surprise.
While production from David Ortiz is expected, the Red Sox are getting contributions from several surprising candidates.
Boston (36-23) leads the AL East in part because it's hitting .272 and averaging 5.2 runs to rank among the most potent offenses in the majors.
The Red Sox have been even better during the win streak, batting .405 with nine homers and outscoring opponents 31-6. They collected season highs of 19 hits and eight doubles while hitting four homers Tuesday in a 17-5 win in the opener of this three-game set.
Ortiz, the team leader with a .333 average, drove in three runs while hitting a double and legging out his first triple since April 11, 2011.
"He's playing with a lot of life. He's playing with a lot of enthusiasm and I think that is the overriding attitude that is in that group downstairs," manager John Farrell said.
The same could be said of Nava, Iglesias and Bradley.
Nava is 8 for 13 with a homer, two doubles, five RBIs and six runs over the past three games, and Iglesias is 9 for 20 with one homer and five RBIs in the last five.
Bradley has a .167 average on the season, so he may be the biggest surprise during the winning streak. The rookie outfielder is 4 for 12 (.333) with two doubles, and his only hit Tuesday was his first career homer - a three-run shot.
Bradley may remain in the lineup despite Jacoby Ellsbury's expected return from a groin injury that has sidelined him for four games. The center fielder was 11 for 23 with seven steals in his last five games before getting hurt.
The AL West-leading Rangers (35-22) will be hoping Alexi Ogando (4-2, 3.08 ERA) can quiet the Red Sox's bats. He's scheduled to take the mound for the first time since a 6-2 win at Oakland on May 15 due to right biceps tendinitis.
Ogando was 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA over his three previous starts before his injury, a stretch that started with a 5-1 home win against the Red Sox on May 4. He yielded one run in six innings opposite John Lackey, who is scheduled to pitch Wednesday.
Ogando is 1-1 while allowing one run and one hit with five strikeouts and three walks in five innings over four relief outings at Fenway Park.
Lackey (3-5, 2.96) has won two of three home starts behind a 0.90 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 20 innings.
The veteran right-hander wasn't nearly that effective on the road last Wednesday, allowing three solo homers in six innings of a 4-3 defeat to Philadelphia. Lackey gave up two unearned runs and three hits over 13 innings in winning his previous two starts.
He's 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA in his last two outings against Texas and owns a 6.14 ERA in going 12-15 in 37 matchups. His ERA is his worst versus any team he's faced more than once, and the 37 starts are his most against any club.