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TEX@LAA: Yu fans 11 over seven against Angels

The Rangers and Red Sox appear to be going in different directions.

The Rangers had a four-game winning streak snapped Sunday in a 7-6, 10-inning loss to the Royals, but hold a 5 1/2-game lead in the American League West. The Red Sox, on the other hand, broke a four-game losing streak with a 6-4 win against the Twins, but trail the first-place Yankees by 10 games in the AL East, and are 4 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race going into Monday's series opener against Texas at Fenway Park.

"We're not playing good baseball," Red Sox infielder Nick Punto said. "We have the talent in this room to do it. We just haven't. We know we need to go on this run. The clock's ticking. We just need to play good baseball."

The Rangers send a struggling Yu Darvish to the mound on Monday. Since the beginning of July, Darvish is 1-3 with a 6.82 ERA in five starts, and his 70 walks are the third most in the AL. Darvish, who has walked 17 batters in his last four outings and tied a season high by issuing six walks in his last start, averages 4.95 walks per nine innings, the sixth-highest mark in club history.

"I don't have any concerns about him," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I would just like to see him pound the strike zone, however he has to do it. Command has always been his issue, not his stuff. That's the one thing he is fighting, is his command. We're doing everything we can and he's doing everything he can to fix it. ... Sometimes those are quick fixes, and sometimes they are not."

Darvish gave up seven runs on four hits in five innings against the Angels on Wednesday, with seven strikeouts. All four batters he walked in a six-run third inning scored, and he admitted after the game that the walks were getting to him, but that he would do his best to clear his mind before his next start.

"It's not about throwing hard or the ball or results," Darvish said. "I think it's more about myself being able to adjust to many things. I am trying out many different things, but it does not mean that I will be using it during games."

The Red Sox will have a struggling right-hander of their own on the mound on Monday in Aaron Cook. He has lost each of his last three starts, posting a 9.00 ERA over that stretch, and has allowed 20 hits, six of them home runs, in his last 15 innings.

"I've been missing location with my pitches," Cook said. "I might need to bear down a little bit harder and make sure that I'm definitely down in the zone, because if I'm still down in the zone, they're hitting balls on the ground and I think the outcome of the game is totally different."

Cook will be making his first career appearance against the Rangers on Monday. The Indians and Rockies are the only other teams he has not faced.

Rangers: Feldman on way to earning spot in rotation
A 17-game winner in 2009, Scott Feldman has spent most of this season going back and forth between the rotation and bullpen. But after winning his last six decisions, Feldman is likely staying in the rotation for the rest of the year. That meant Roy Oswalt moved to the bullpen for the first time in his career when the Rangers acquired Ryan Dempster.

Feldman is 6-0 with a 2.81 ERA in his last seven outings after dropping his first six decisions of the year, becoming just the second player in Major League history to win six straight decisions after losing six in a row. Feldman gave up two runs over 7 2/3 innings in a win against the Royals on Saturday.

"He did a good job again," Washington said after that 4-2 victory. "He's keeping the ball down, he's mixing his pitches, and he had a good fastball that he was able to move around in the zone. He was outstanding tonight, and we certainly needed it."

Red Sox: Crawford done with mandated days off
Carl Crawford, who is playing with a UCL injury in his left elbow that could require surgery, got a scheduled day off July 28, but has since started eight straight games, including Sunday's win against the Twins on his 31st birthday, when he went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI.

"He's playing great," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "He's swinging well and doing everything we need him to do in the outfield and on the bases."

Worth noting
• David Murphy's eight-game hitting streak was snapped Sunday.

• Josh Hamilton has 90 RBIs through his team's first 106 games for the second time in his career and the sixth time in Rangers history.

• The Rangers have won 16 of their last 23 meetings with the Red Sox, winning four of five this year. Comments