Major League Baseball

Red Sox pursue sweep in Texas

mlb1RED SOX (83-75) AT RANGERS (75-83)
2:05 p.m. ET; FSSW, NESN, MLB.TV

The Boston Red Sox (+1.5) (+1.5) will bid farewell to Globe Life Park in their final road contest of the season as they seek a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers (-1.5) (-1.5) on Thursday afternoon in Arlington, Texas.

The Red Sox have scored 22 runs through the first two contests of the series, extending their winning streak at the closing ballpark to five.

The Rangers will end their season against the New York Yankees over the weekend, then move across the street to a new facility next year, Globe Life Field.

Right-hander Travis Lakins (0-1, 4.22 ERA) will lead Boston in a bullpen game in Thursday’s finale. Southpaw Mike Minor (13-10, 3.52) will get the nod for Texas.

Lakins has pitched once against the Rangers in his rookie season, tossing one scoreless inning in relief on June 13.

After the contest, the Red Sox (83-75) will return home to end their season against the Baltimore Orioles. Though Boston won’t play in the postseason, the team still has several individual achievements on the line.

Rafael Devers, 22, is four hits from 200 for the season after going 2-for-5 Wednesday the Red Sox’s 10-3 win. He hit his 32nd home run and later added his 52nd double, both marks single-season records for a Red Sox third baseman.

Devers slumped for a spell early in September, though he’s turned it on of late with three straight multi-hit games.

“It’s amazing what he’s doing,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “It’s a joy to see him getting locked in again.

“Everything comes down to controlling the strike zone, and when he does that, he’s one of the elite hitters in the big leagues.”

Devers’ American League-leading 88 extra-base hits are the most by a Boston player younger than 23 in a season, surpassing Ted Williams’ mark of 86 in 1939. Devers could sit Thursday against the left-handed Minor.

On June 10, Minor cruised through eight innings against the Red Sox, giving up just two runs on four hits over eight innings, though he wound up with a no-decision. The 31-year-old has struggled this month though, going 2-2 with a 5.33 ERA in four starts.

Minor has given up 13 runs between his last two outings, both against the Oakland Athletics (-1.5) (-1.5). He is 1-3 with a 3.44 ERA in nine career games (five starts) against Boston.

Texas (75-83) continues to see what it has in its younger players as it looks toward next season. Willie Calhoun has been among the bright spots this year, though the 24-year-old exited Wednesday with a left forearm bone contusion sustained on a hit by pitch.

X-rays were negative.

“I think next year, with everything we have put in place this year, they should know the process, they should know my expectations,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said of the team’s youthful core. “Now we’ve got to take the next step, put all these processes in place from Day 1. We have a year now into that process, so now we put that all into play right away. We hit the ground running.”

–Field Level Media

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