A pair of left-handers will face off when Martin Perez pitches for the Rangers and Felix Doubront for the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday night. It will give Rangers manager Ron Washington and Red Sox skipper John Farrell an extra right-handed bat in the lineup.
Washington will likely get Michael Choice's right-handed bat in the lineup. The last time he did that was on Saturday against Rays left-hander David Price. Choice played right field, Alex Rios moved to DH and Mitch Moreland did not start. Moreland will likely be on the bench Tuesday even though he is 3-for-4 in his career against Doubront.
"This is Michael Choice's opportunity to play and get some consistent bats," Washington said.
While Will Middlebrooks recovers from a right calf strain, newly-acquired utility infielder Ryan Roberts will start at third base against lefties.
That means Roberts will start Tuesday and Wednesday's games against the Rangers.
"It's a veteran guy that's played for a number of teams," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He's got some right-handed power. We feel like his swing is built, or certainly advantageous to this ballpark. I wouldn't read into that his addition means that we've found something else out about Will Middlebrooks and a lengthier stay on the DL. We feel like every game is important, and this gives us the opportunity to put the best team on the field given the matchup of the starting pitcher that night.
In 601 at-bats against lefties, Roberts has a career average of .266 with 21 homers. In 1,069 at-bats against righties, he is a .233 hitter with 25 homers.
"It's a great place to hit, due to the monster out there," said Roberts, who was is from Tarrant County and played at UT-Arlington. "You can miss a ball and still get a hit out of it. I'm not looking to do anything, peppering the wall or anything. I just want to kind of stay up the middle of the field and go with my approach and not really change anything."
This will be Perez's second start against the Red Sox. He pitched against them on July 24, 2012 and allowed one run in six innings. He allowed five hits, two walks and struck out one in his fifth Major League game and third career start. The game was in Arlington and Perez took a no-decision because the Rangers lost in the ninth inning. This is his first start in Fenway Park, which is considered a tough ballpark for left-handers.
"I know, I saw a lot of games on television," Perez said. "It's okay. I just need to go out there, attack hitters and throw low strikes. Throw the ball down, throw it good and throw it where I want it."
Doubront has not had much success against the Rangers. He has made three starts and three relief appearances against them and is 0-3 with an 11.40 ERA against them. It's his highest ERA against any American League team.
His last start against the Rangers was on May 3 last season when he allowed six runs on 12 hits over 3 2/3 innings. This will be his first start against them since 2010. But he has had some success against current Rangers in other uniforms. Alex Rios is 1-for-9 in his career against Doubront, while Prince Fielder is 0-for-6 and Shin-Soo Choo is 0-4.
About the Rangers
Donnie Murphy started at second base for the Rangers on Monday night. He also started there Sunday but look for Josh Wilson to play second Tuesday and Wednesday.
Washington had been alternating the two at second base game-by-game. But he would rather alternate two games at a time. The plan is still to play both of them equally at second base.
"I don't think you'll see one of them getting more playing time than the other," Washington said.
About the Red Sox
In his rookie season, Xander Bogaerts is off to a hot start offensively. But Farrell has also been impressed by his defense at shortstop. During Boston's stretch run in 2013, Bogaerts played mostly third base.
"I think he's given us probably a little bit more than we anticipated, and that's not to say we had lower expectations of him," Farrell said. "There was a ball [Sunday] that he gets caught a little bit in that five-six hole, went at it with his forehand when he probably could have planted and gone to the backhand. The range has been good. I think he's playing very well."
• Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios have hit safely in all seven games for the Rangers this season.
• Red Sox closer Koji Uehara has not allowed a run in four appearances this year. He has been scored upon in just one of his last 37 outings going back to last year.
• Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski had three hits against the Rangers on Monday night and now has a career average of .315 at Fenway Park.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.