Padilla looks to pick up tempo

Padilla looks to pick up tempo

Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla are 1-2 in the Rangers rotation and on the player payroll. The Rangers are also 5-12 in the 17 games those two have started this season.

Padilla is scheduled to pitch on Saturday against the Boston Red Sox and the Rangers are hoping that Millwood will be ready to come off the disabled list next week. Manager Ron Washington made it clear that a key to the Rangers getting their season turned around is to start winning games when their top two pitchers are on the mound.

"It's huge," Washington said. "We need Millwood back very badly and we need Padilla to be more consistent like he was in his last game. He pounded the strike zone, he was very aggressive and his tempo was fast."

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim opened the season with John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar as their top two starters. The Angels are 13-5 when those two pitch. The Boston Red Sox are 15-3 when either Josh Beckett or Curt Schilling is on the mound.

Pitching matchup
TEX: RHP Vicente Padilla (2-6, 5.52 ERA)
The Rangers won for only the second time in Padilla's 10 starts this season when they defeated the Twins, 14-4, on Monday. He is now 2-3 with a 5.05 ERA in his last seven starts. This will be just his fifth start at home, where he is 2-2 with a 3.04 ERA. Opponents are hitting .229 off him with runners in scoring position. He is 1-2 with a 4.70 ERA in five career games, including four starts, against the Red Sox.

BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (4-5, 3.14 ERA)
Wakefield is 0-2 with an 8.25 ERA in his last two starts. He started against the Rangers in their home opener and allowed just two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks over six innings. He was still the losing pitcher in a 2-0 loss for the Red Sox. He is 7-14 with a 5.89 ERA in his career against the Rangers and is 1-4 with a 5.46 ERA in his last five starts against the Rangers in Arlington.

Player to watch
Frank Catalanotto has a career .319 batting average (15-for-47) against Wakefield. He also has three home runs off Wakefield, his most against any one pitcher.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• My27

On radio
• KRLD 1080, KFLC 1270 (Español)

Up next
• Sunday: Rangers (Kameron Loe, 1-4, 6.38) vs. Boston (Julian Tavarez, 3-4, 5.27), 2:05 p.m. CT
• Monday: Rangers (Robinson Tejeda, 4-4, 5.18) at Oakland (Chad Gaudin, 4-1, 2.58), 9:05 p.m. CT
• Tuesday: Rangers (Mike Wood, 0-1, 7.02) at Oakland (Lenny DiNardo, 1-1, 1.83), 9:05 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.