Boston fans, who enjoy a reputation for baseball smarts, will understand the answer to a simple equation. The Red Sox, off their first losing month of the season -- they went 13-14 in June -- boasted the league's second-best ERA during that time.

What went wrong?

To improve upon that record, and support pitchers like Kason Gabbard, who starts on Monday against Brandon McCarthy and the Rangers, the Red Sox will have to score more than 112 runs in July. That's how many they scraped out in 27 games in June, outpacing only the Chicago White Sox.

On May 25 at Texas, the Red Sox roughed up McCarthy, sending him to an early exit after just two innings and four runs earned. Gabbard, making his second start since replacing the injured Curt Schilling in the rotation, will look to pitch more like he did during a May 25 callup against Atlanta than during his last start, at Seattle.

In that earlier start, he struck out seven Braves, allowed just two runs, and got the win in five innings. On Tuesday, however, 12 Mariners reached base against the Red Sox lefty in just 3 1/3 innings.

Pitching matchup
BOS: LHP Kason Gabbard (1-0, 6.48 ERA)
Gabbard has never faced the Rangers. He has been stellar in 12 career innings at Fenway Park, allowing just two runs and striking out 13 batters.

TEX: RHP Brandon McCarthy (4-4, 5.90 ERA)
McCarthy's days as a blue-chip prospect in the White Sox system might be over, but he is just 23 and 6-foot-7, numbers that he can still use to his advantage. He has been on the disabled list since June 10 with a blister on his right middle finger. McCarthy has a 4.11 career ERA against the Red Sox in 15 1/3 innings.

Player to watch
Will Boston center fielder Coco Crisp, battling a sprained thumb, play against McCarthy, whom he has tagged for a home run and a double in five career at-bats? Or will rookie Jacoby Ellsbury replace him again in the lineup? Red Sox fans will be watching.

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

On television
• NESN

On radio
• WRKO 680, WROL (Español)

Up next
• Tuesday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 9-5, 3.80) vs. Devil Rays (Scott Kazmir, 5-4, 4.26), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 8-8, 4.31) vs. Devil Rays (Edwin Jackson, 1-8, 6.88), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 11-2, 3.38) vs. Devil Rays (J.P. Howell, 1-2, 5.19), 7:05 p.m. ET