Erik Bedard is still looking for his first victory since getting to Boston. The Red Sox are still trying to win a game in Texas.
While the Red Sox have been the best team in the majors since their 0-6 start that included the season-opening three-game set at Rangers Ballpark in April, they again lost to the AL West leaders.
C.J. Wilson limited the Red Sox to four singles over 6 2-3 scoreless innings before a trio of relievers finished without allowing a hit as Texas won 4-0 on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series that serves as a potential playoff preview.
"It's hard to think about April 6 or whatever," manager Terry Francona said. "What happened in April, they're probably not the same team of four months ago."
Then again, the Red Sox aren't really themselves with their injury-depleted lineup.
Kevin Youkilis and J.D. Drew were already on the disabled list before Boston began this series without Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz.
Ellsbury was out of the lineup for the third straight game since being hit in the back with a pitch at Kansas City, though the All-Star center fielder is expected to be back Tuesday night. Ortiz hasn't played since last Tuesday because of bursitis in his right heel. The slugger took swings inside on Monday.
Bedard (4-9) is 0-2 in his four starts for the Red Sox since being acquired July 31 in a trade from Seattle. The left-hander struck out four and allowed seven hits over six innings.
"He did great. He made one bad pitch," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. "Other than that, he did a great job, especially against this team. They have a great hitting team."
Mike Napoli's 21st homer, in the sixth off Bedard, extended the Rangers' 1-0 lead and his hitting streak to a season-best 11.
"I was trying to get him out. I was trying to get him to pop up or miss it," Bedard said. "Some games, that's how it ends up. One pitch and he won the battle."
Texas had a season-high scoreless streak of 17 consecutive innings before Elvis Andrus' RBI single in the third after a potential inning-ending double play instead became a blown call and hit for Ian Kinsler.
Kinsler's sinking liner to right in the third appeared to be caught by Josh Reddick.
Baserunner Craig Gentry was stranded between first and second base unsure which way to go until umpire Doug Eddings finally waved safe, ruling that the ball was trapped. Gentry scooted to second while Reddick threw to first thinking he had completed a double play.
"I know he caught it," Francona said. "But the umpire says he's sure, and he's not, I don't know what to do."
Francona argued to no avail and Reddick mouthed "There's no way."
Replays showed clearly that Reddick caught the ball a few inches off the ground.
Texas (74-55) extended its division lead over the idle Los Angeles Angels to 41/2 games while the Red Sox (77-50), who have the second-best record in the AL, dropped a full game behind the New York Yankees in the AL East.
Wilson is 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA in his four August starts. The left-hander had finished July by allowing 14 hits and 13 runs (10 earned) in 7 2/3 innings over two starts, but struck out four and walked two against the Red Sox.
"His stuff is just filthy," Francona said. "He's got a lot of good pitches and he went right through us."
The Red Sox had runners at first and third, the only time they had a runner 90 feet from home plate, when Wilson came out of the game. Koji Uehara immediately got Jarrod Saltalamacchia on a groundout.
Mike Adams and Neftali Feliz each pitched a scoreless inning without allowing a hit to wrap up the Rangers' 15th shutout. Boston was held scoreless for the ninth time.
Notes: Boston is 3-10 at Rangers Ballpark since 2009. ... Napoli struck out two pitches after it appeared he had been hit by a pitch in the second. Home plate umpire Paul Nauert ruled foul ball despite Napoli showing him a mark on his arm and manager Ron Washington sprinting out of the dugout to argue. ... Texas native John Lackey (11-9) starts for the Red Sox on Tuesday night. The right-hander, coming off a loss to Tampa Bay that snapped his career-best six-game winning streak, is 6-6 with a 6.78 ERA in 17 career starts at Rangers Ballpark. He allowed nine runs in 3 2-3 innings there the second game this season. ... Colby Lewis (11-8), who beat Lackey in April, starts for Texas. ... Red Sox CF Darnell McDonald was retired on three comebackers to Wilson, two of them on hard choppers the pitcher reached back to snag before getting the outs.
This program aired on August 23, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.