Rangers stop off in Boston

Rangers stop off in Boston

John Rheinecker pitches in Boston today and he didn't do badly in his first trip to Fenway Park, holding the Red Sox to three runs on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings in a game the Rangers eventually won, 7-4.

Other left-handers have fared worse in a ballpark that is supposed to be tough on southpaws. Legend has it that Yankees manager Casey Stengel used to change his rotation so that Hall of Fame left-hander Whitey Ford wouldn't pitch in Fenway.

"When I was with the Yankees [as pitching coach] in the '80s I used to think that left-handers had trouble in Boston," Rangers pitching coach Mark Connor said. "But Bruce Hurst kind of changed that around a little bit."

This also revolves around the Green Monster, the 34-foot-high wall in left field that is supposedly an inviting target for right-handed hitters, especially when they are going against left-handed pitchers. But Connor said a pitcher can combat that.

"For me, a left-hander has to pitch inside," Connor said. "He can't pitch outside all the time because a right-hander can go out and hook the ball. Left-handers in today's game are pitching more inside anyway but anywhere where there is a short porch, you have to make pitches inside."

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Curt Schilling (11-3, 3.42)
Schilling is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts in July and 6-1 with a 3.20 ERA in his last 12 starts. He is ninth in the league in ERA and third in strikeouts (124) and innings pitched (134.1). He is 7-0 with a 2.41 ERA at Fenway Park, the fourth lowest home ERA in the American League. He is 3-0 with a 3.42 ERA in seven career appearances against the Rangers.

TEX: LHP John Rheinecker (4-4, 4.82)
Rheinecker is 2-4 with a 6.90 ERA in his last six starts. He started against the Red Sox on June 10 in Fenway Park and allowed three runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings but was not involved in the decision as the Rangers rallied for a 7-4 victory. Right-handed hitters are hitting .372 off him while left-handed hitters are hitting .178 off him. He has also struck out just 21 battters in 56 innings.

Player to watch
Gary Matthews Jr. is 9-for-22 off Red Sox pitching so far this season. He is 4-for-17 lifetime off Schilling. He also has a .343 batting average at Fenway Park, his highest at any American League park in his career.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• KDFW/Ch. 4

On radio
• KRLD 1080/AM; KLFC 1270/AM (Español)

Up next
• Friday: Rangers (RHP John Wasdin, 2-2, 5.01) at White Sox (LHP Mark Buehrle, 9-7, 4.43) 7:30 p.m. CT
• Saturday: Rangers (LHP John Koronka, 6-6, 5.22) at White Sox (RHP Freddy Garcia, 10-6, 5.07) 6:05 p.m. CT
• Sunday: Rangers (RHP Vicente Padilla, 10-5, 4.15) at White Sox (RHP Jon Garland, 9-3, 5.12) 1:05 p.m. CT

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.