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Cashner faces Porcello in opener at Fenway

MLB.com

DETROIT -- Rangers right-hander Andrew Cashner will be making his first career start at Fenway Park when he faces right-hander Rick Porcello and the Red Sox in the first of a three-game series Tuesday night.

First baseman Mitch Moreland is expected to be in the lineup for the Red Sox as he faces his old team for the first time since leaving as a free agent after last season.

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DETROIT -- Rangers right-hander Andrew Cashner will be making his first career start at Fenway Park when he faces right-hander Rick Porcello and the Red Sox in the first of a three-game series Tuesday night.

First baseman Mitch Moreland is expected to be in the lineup for the Red Sox as he faces his old team for the first time since leaving as a free agent after last season.

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"It'll be kind of bittersweet," Moreland said. "Obviously I still have a lot of friends and people over there that I care about and check on. It'll be good to see those guys and I'll be a lot of fun to compete against them."

Cashner is coming off his first win of the season. He allowed two runs in seven innings in a 9-3 victory over the Phillies on Wednesday in Arlington.

Cashner has had trouble against leadoff hitters in an inning. They are hitting .306 off him and his seven leadoff walks are the fourth most in the Majors. But opponents are hitting .103 off him with runners on base and .074 with runners in scoring position.

Porcello is off to a slow start after winning the American League Cy Young Award last season, and one reason is he hasn't been as tough against right-handed hitters. They are hitting .314 with a .504 slugging percentage off him this year as opposed to .235 with a .396 slugging percentage last season.

Porcello is 5-4 with a 5.69 ERA in nine starts against the Rangers. That's the ninth-highest ERA among active pitchers with at least five starts against them.

What to watch for:

• Red Sox designated hitter Hanley Ramirez will be glad to get back to Fenway Park. As of Sunday, he was hitting .329 at Fenway, the eighth-highest home average in the American League. He was hitting .167 on the road.

• Mike Napoli has played in 44 career games against the Red Sox with a .260 batting average. He also has a .639 slugging percentage that is the highest among active players with at least 100 at-bats against them. His 9.13 at-bats per home run (146/16) is also the best among active players and tied all-time with Dave Kingman.

• Mookie Betts has a career .362 average in 13 games against the Rangers. He has hit safely in 12 of those 13 games with at least two hits in eight of them.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.