Rangers-Red Sox Preview
By MATT BROWN
(AP) -- The Texas Rangers might wish they were visiting Boston for longer than two games.
The Red Sox probably think the Rangers have already overstayed their welcome.
Texas looks to improve to 5-0 away from home and continue its hot hitting at Fenway Park on Wednesday night when it wraps up its brief series against the Red Sox.
The two-time defending AL champion Rangers (9-2) looked every bit the part Tuesday, routing the Red Sox 18-3. It was the most lopsided loss for Boston (4-7) since a 22-1 defeat to the New York Yankees on June 19, 2000, and marked the most runs scored at Fenway by a visitor other than the Yankees since Milwaukee won 18-0 on April 16, 1990.
"I can't describe this one," Boston manager Bobby Valentine said.
Mike Napoli swatted two of the Rangers' six homers and had three of their 21 hits. Every player in the Texas starting lineup scored at least one run, and Josh Hamilton went 3 for 5 with a homer and a career high-tying five RBIs.
"He's a talented baseball player. That's how you describe him. He's a very talented baseball player," Texas manager Ron Washington said of Hamilton. "Nothing he does out there surprises me, at no time, because he's capable of doing it. It's not like that's something (where) he just gets hot and that's going to happen."
The Rangers, winners of five straight overall, are looking to win their first five road games in a season for the first time since 1989, when they opened a franchise-best 6-0 away from home.
While Texas is playing well regardless of the park, it may not want to leave Fenway. Including a three-game set Sept. 2-4 in which they won two, the Rangers are averaging 11.5 runs and batting .382 over their last four contests in Boston. They've hit 12 homers in those games and have compiled a .457 on-base percentage.
They'll look to keep it going against Josh Beckett (1-1, 5.68 ERA), who is 0-1 with a 7.79 ERA in three career starts versus Texas at Fenway. Hamilton is 6 for 14 (.429) with two homers off Beckett while Napoli is 2 for 12 with a double and a home run.
Beckett, though, is coming off a strong outing. The right-hander went eight innings in Friday's 12-2 victory over Tampa Bay, limiting the Rays to one run and five hits despite striking out just one.
Rangers probable starter Derek Holland (1-0, 3.38) benefited from one of the offensive outbursts at Fenway last September, though he didn't need the help. The left-hander allowed two hits and no walks over seven innings of a 10-0 victory Sept. 2.
He also didn't issue a walk in Thursday's 5-3 win over Seattle, yielding two runs and five hits over 7 1-3 innings while striking out eight to get Texas' current winning streak started.
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is 1 for 8 off Holland, while third baseman Kevin Youkilis is 0 for 6 with four strikeouts.
Updated April 18, 2012