Friday, June 24, 2016

Price aims to keep Rangers' bats in check

Red Sox left-hander David Price will get the nod against Rangers right-hander Nick Martinez in the opener of a three-game series Friday night at Globe Life Park.
Price has been effective lately, throwing eight innings in each of his past three games and allowing no more than three runs. The left-hander is currently in a stretch where he's tossed eight straight quality starts, going 4-3 with a 2.47 ERA.
"I think he's just settled into what's been his normal delivery for a number of years," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "You look at what he's done over the last eight starts, it's progressively getting better. He's been more efficient with his pitch, not only his pitch mix, but the number of pitches thrown. He's been to quality locations throughout. It's great to see a guy go out and work like he does."
However, Price has struggled against the Rangers in his career. Including the postseason, he's 4-8 with a 5.27 ERA in 15 career starts and one relief appearance. At Globe Life Park, he owns a 6.54 ERA in six regular season starts, his worst ERA at any Major League ballpark.
Meanwhile, the Rangers announced Wednesday that Martinez would make his second start in the spot normally occupied by right-hander Yu Darvish, who is on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder discomfort. In his first start of the season against the Cardinals last Saturday, Martinez allowed three runs on six hits through 4 1/3 innings.
Friday will be Martinez's fourth outing of the season. He's made one start with two relief appearances.
"I think it helps not only me, but the team," he said of his flexibility. "Being able to help out any way I can, whether it is starting or relieving -- I'm pretty open to the idea."
Three things to know about this game
• The Rangers will honor former outfielder David Murphy before Friday's game. Murphy was a fan favorite throughout his seven seasons with the Rangers from 2007-13, playing in both of the team's World Series appearances in '10 and '11.
• Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus is hitting .400 in 25 regular-season at-bats against Price. It's the second-highest average of any opponent with a minimum of 25 at-bats.
• Price's last appearance at Globe Life Park came in Game 4 of last year's American League Division Series. He allowed three runs on six hits in three innings of relief.

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