ARLINGTON -- The theme this season for the Texas Rangers, especially as they have entered the stretch drive, has been to worry about themselves and not about who they are playing or who is in second place.
C.J. Wilson, though, seems to take notice whenever he faces a quality team or a quality starting pitcher. The result, oftentimes, is a Rangers victory.
That was the case Monday night against Boston.
Wilson tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings to beat the Red Sox for a fourth time in the past two seasons, and Mike Napoli provided a three-run homer as the Rangers opened a 10-game homestand with a 4-0 victory.
The shutout was the Rangers' 15th of the season, their most since 1977, and it allowed them to up their advantage in the American League to 4 1/2 games over the idle LA Angels.
Wilson improved to 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA in five career starts against the Red Sox, dating to last season. He allowed only four hits and two walks in becoming the first Rangers pitcher this season to win 13 games.
He beat the red-hot Ervin Santana in his last start for a second time this year and has also defeated Felix Hernandez, the reigning AL Cy Young winner, twice this season.
"It's not something where I have a magic spell over them," Wilson said. "It just happens that, like last year, I had to go out and pitch well. I don't ever go out there feeling like, 'Oh, it's the Red Sox.' They are a really good team, and I don't take that for granted."
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the third with an assist from first-base umpire Doug Eddings, who ruled that Ian Kinsler's line drive had skipped into the glove of right fielder Josh Reddick. Replays, however, showed a catch, and Craig Gentry advanced to second base.
The Rangers took advantage as the next hitter, Elvis Andrus, squeezed a grounder past shortstop Marco Scutaro. Gentry scored easily.
Red Sox pitcher Erik Bedard didn't buckle until the sixth. Josh Hamilton and Elvis Andrus reached on one-out singles. Nelson Cruz struck out on a high off-speed pitch, leaving the rally hopes to Napoli.
He fell behind Bedard in the count 1-2, but drove an inside fastball over the Southwest.com sign in left field for his 21st homer. "We had Bedard on the ropes right there, and his pitch count started piling up also," manager Ron Washington said. "He left a fastball up to Michael, and he didn't miss it."
The Red Sox tried to counter in the seventh against Wilson, who allowed a single and a walk with one out. He retired Carl Crawford on a grounder back to the mound on his 110th pitch and was removed.
Koji Uehara quickly got Jarrod Saltalamacchia to ground out and end the threat. The Red Sox also put two runners on in the ninth against Neftali Feliz, and Kinsler preserved the shutout with a diving stab of a Crawford grounder and a quick throw to first base.
"We needed it, especially when you're shutting someone out," Washington said.
Wilson (13-5) had a shaky first inning, throwing 22 pitches and allowing a single and a walk with two outs before getting out of it. But he faced only one over the minimum the next four innings, during which he picked up all four of his strikeouts.
The high pitch count early kept him from going deeper into the game, but the left-hander went at least six innings for the 23rd time this season and posted his 19th quality start.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760