Rangers try to keep momentum going vs. Red Sox

The Texas Rangers accomplished two things they haven’t had much success with this season Thursday, getting hits and scoring runs off a left-handed pitcher and playing well enough to win at home.

Those achievements helped provide an 11-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox in the first contest of a four-game weekend series at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers’ 11 runs were their most this season and paid dividends with Texas’ fifth home victory against 12 losses in 2018.

The Red Sox will send right-hander Rick Porcello (4-0, 2.23 ERA) to the mound Friday while Texas will counter with ageless rightie Bartolo Colon (1-0, 2.87).

Texas strafed Red Sox starter David Price for nine runs (seven earned) in 3 2/3 innings Thursday. Before that outburst, the Rangers were 2-6 against left-handed starters this season.

Jurickson Profar had an RBI triple in the second and scored on a sacrifice fly by Renato Nunez. Nomar Mazara had an RBI double in the third, and Ryan Rua ripped a run-scoring single in the fourth to chase Price.

Mazara also had the big blast of the night, breaking the game open with a three-run homer off reliever Hector Velazquez to finish off a six-run fourth. Mazara has now hit a home run in three straight games

“We are doing the little things right now, doing what we can at the plate to get to the next hitter,” Mazara said. “We have been working hard and doing what we have to do to win. We have to come back tomorrow and do the same thing.”

Rangers starter Mike Minor hurled six innings to get the win, allowing three runs on seven hits, four walks and Mookie Betts‘ 12th home run of the season. The Red Sox were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position off Minor, who is 3-1 with a 4.36 ERA and has held opponents to a .179 batting average with runners in scoring position.

The Rangers announced Wednesday that injured shortstop Elvis Andrus had been moved from the 10-day to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for waiver-claim catcher Carlos Perez. That means Andrus, who has a fractured right elbow, will not be eligible to be activated until June 11 at the earliest.

Andrus is expected to begin rehabbing his right elbow on the Rangers’ current homestand.

“There is no reason to be in a hurry while the body is healing,” Andrus said. “This is the most important time.”

Porcello has been the Red Sox most consistent starter this season, allowing only four walks and one home run while striking out 38 batters. He is is 6-4 with a 5.52 ERA in 11 starts versus Texas,

The 43-year-old Colon, who is listed at 285 pounds, will make his fifth start for the Rangers. Boston knows that despite his age and size that he is a threat to pitch well deep into games. On April 15, Colon retired the first 21 batters he faced in Houston.

“I love the fact that he enjoys it,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said about Colon. “He knows how good he is. He’s not fooling me. He’s good. He still enjoys the game and he’s lucky to be around.”

Cora, third base coach Carlos Febles, first base coach Tom Goodwin, and major league coach Ramon Vazquez faced the 44-year-old Colon 57 times in their combined careers, 23 more times than the players on the Sox’s active roster.

Colon is 9-11 with a 3.76 ERA in 29 games (27 starts) in his career against the Red Sox.