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07/18/10 3:12 PM ET

Cruz blunder ends streak against Boston

Rangers had stolen 35 bases in a row against Red Sox

BOSTON -- The Rangers had been successful on 35 straight steals against the Red Sox before Nelson Cruz was thrown out in the second inning of Saturday night's game.

Cruz, running from second base after Chris Davis took ball four, was thrown out not by the catcher, but by pitcher John Lackey, thinking that the Red Sox weren't watching and he could swipe third base unopposed.

"I wasn't sure what he was doing," Lackey said. "I should have thanked him, though. I heard some yelling from all over the place, yeah."

Manager Ron Washington likes his players to be aggressive on the basepaths, but admitted that was probably excessive. There were two outs in the inning anyway and that got Lackey off the mound instead of facing Julio Borbon with two runners on base.

"Trying to catch them off guard I guess," Washington said. "Hoping he could pull off a sneak attack ... but at that point, Lackey was struggling with his pitch count. I would have liked Borbon to have a chance to drive him in. But that got him out of the inning. You never know how many more pitches Lackey would have thrown."

Vladimir Guerrero also got thrown out stealing in the fourth after a one-out single. Washington didn't have a problem with that even though Josh Hamilton followed with what could have been a run-scoring double.

"That's the way we play," Washington said. "He just got thrown out. I'm not taking their aggressiveness away. You love it when it's good, you're not going to hate it when it's bad."

Vlad gets first career start in left field

BOSTON -- Vladimir Guerrero made his debut as a left fielder on Sunday afternoon against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Manager Ron Washington wanted to give Hamilton a semi-day off by using him as designated hitter and he did not want to take Nelson Cruz out of right field. So Guerrero played left field for the first time since 1994 when he was playing for the Gulf Coast League Expos.

"This was planned," Washington said. "Vlad got some work out there [Saturday], so he's all for it."

Left field at Fenway is one of the smallest fields to cover in the American League, but the Green Monster wall behind it can make it a tricky place to play. There is also almost no foul territory down the left-field line.

But the Rangers haven't been afraid of using different people to play left field here. Mark Teixeira started out there in 2003 and Washington once used German Duran as his left fielder at Fenway. Guerrero did play left field in two All-Star Games: 2000 in Seattle and '06 in Pittsburgh.

"Vlad is a good athlete, he'll be all right," Washington said. "I'm not trying to create nostalgia, I just want to give Josh a day off his feet."

Borbon first Ranger to swipe home since '01

BOSTON -- Julio Borbon became the first Rangers player in almost nine years to steal home in a game against the Red Sox on Sunday.

Borbon and shortstop Elvis Andrus executed a double steal against Boston starter Jon Lester in the fifth inning to give Texas a 3-1 lead. Borbon reached on a one-out double and went to third on Andrus' bunt single.

That brought up Michael Young, and he worked the count full. On the 3-2 pitch, Andrus broke for second and Young swung and missed. Catcher Dusty Brown threw down to second baseman Bill Hall, but Andrus stopped well short of the base.

Borbon, meanwhile, broke for home and beat Hall's throw home with a headfirst slide. It was the Rangers' first steal of home since Sept. 23, 2001, when Ricky Ledee did it against the Angels.

Lee to pitch every fifth day to the end

BOSTON -- The Rangers are going to try to squeeze an extra start or two from Cliff Lee by pitching him every fifth day down the stretch. That would mean other starters getting pushed back or skipped when the Rangers have a day off.

Sticking to this schedule, Lee will get 15 starts through the end of the season. His next one is Thursday against the Angels at the Ballpark in Arlington.

"We want to get as many starts out of him as we can," manager Ron Washington said. "He has always had a consistent routine and we want to keep him on a consistent rotation."

Davis staying in against left-handers

BOSTON -- The Rangers are looking for a right-handed-hitting first baseman to go with Chris Davis, who hits left-handed. But without one, Davis was in the lineup on Sunday with left-hander Jon Lester on the mound for the Red Sox.

Davis went into the game just 2-for-15 off lefties at the Major League level, and Lester had held left-handed hitters to a .204 batting average. Manager Ron Washington has used Joaquin Arias at first base on occasion, but wanted Davis on Sunday.

"Chris is going to have to figure it out," Washington said. "I want his defense in there. I don't think too many people in this league have put much offense up against Lester, so I want his defense."

Davis hit well against left-handers at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He was 23-for-56 (.411) with five doubles and two home runs against them.

Worth noting

The Rangers have had three walk-off losses this season, and all three have been in Boston. ... Darren O'Day is now up to 17 scoreless innings over 17 appearances. ... Cliff Lee is the first pitcher to go nine innings in a game in each of his first two starts and not get the victory in either game since Bill Parsons did so for the Brewers on April 13-18, 1971.

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