June 20, 2018
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Beltre helps Rangers beat up Red Sox

By Michael Edlridge, The Sports Xchange

ARLINGTON, Texas — Adrian Beltre’s four hits were just two fewer than the entire Boston Red Sox team had on Friday night.

Beltre put an exclamation point on the Texas Rangers’ 7-0 win over the Red Sox with a three-run double in the fourth to cap a five-run inning for the Rangers.

Texas (18-11), which had a season-low three hits on Thursday night against the White Sox, had a season-high 18 hits against Boston (20-9) in the series opener.

Beltre finished with the team’s first four-hit game of the season, with three singles to go along with his fourth-inning double.

Ian Kinsler and Mitch Moreland each added three hits. Kinsler scored a run and had an RBI, while Moreland scored twice. Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz each finished with a pair of hits.

Texas finished with hits from eight of its starters and added one from pinch hitter Leonys Martin.

Derek Holland threw eight innings to pick up his second win of the season. Holland (2-2) gave up just two hits through the first five innings, allowing six hits overall with a season-high nine strikeouts and a walk.

The left-hander did not allow Boston to put a runner in scoring position for the first five innings. The Red Sox got a runner to second on back-to-back singles in the sixth.

A two-out rally opened the scoring for the Rangers in the second inning. Jeff Baker sent a 2-1 to left field for a double, and he went to third on a single by Moreland. Craig Gentry plated Baker on an infield single after beating the throw to first on a slow roller to short.

Texas continued to add hits following a single from Moreland in the fourth. Moreland scored two batters later on a single from Kinsler to begin a two-out rally. Lance Berkman followed up a single from Elvis Andrus with a walk to load the bases for Beltre. Beltre sent a 3-2 pitch to left-center field, bouncing to the wall, for a three-run double.

Moreland added his third hit of the game in the fifth, and, following a pinch-hit single from Martin, Moreland came in on a RBI double from Kinsler.

Red Sox starter Felix Doubront lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up six earned runs and 12 of the Rangers hits.

Mike Napoli’s return to Texas was quiet despite a standing ovation from his former home crowd. The Red Sox first baseman was 0-for-4 in the contest, with a strikeout in his first plate appearance.

Notes: Kinsler extended his hitting streak to nine consecutive games… Shane Victorino returned to the Red Sox lineup after a seven-game absence due to back stiffness… Texas improved to 9-1 in series openers… The Red Sox and Rangers continue their three-game series on Saturday with John Lackey (1-1, 2.61) taking on Rangers starter Alexi Ogando (2-2, 3.38).

A’s 2, Yankees 0: A.J. Griffin scattered six hits in seven-plus innings and the Oakland Athletics opened a 10-game road trip with a 2-0 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Griffin (2-2) won for the first time in four starts with an efficient 98-pitch outing. He allowed more than one runner on base just once, held the Yankees hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position and allowed just one runner to reach third base.

The 25-year-old right-hander threw first-pitch strikes to 17 hitters while striking out four and issuing one walk.

Griffin came into the game with a 9.00 ERA and a .277 batting average against him in his last two starts against Boston and Baltimore but was even more effective against the Yankees than last July when he had a shutout going through five and allowed three runs in six-plus innings.

The performance by Griffin was among the better ones by Oakland’s starting staff this season. The Athletics’ rotation had produced a 6-11 record with a 5.87 ERA in the last 22 games since April 9 and the American League’s third-highest ERA this year.

Griffin allowed two more hits after Jayson Nix led off the fifth with a single to left. He retired the next nine hitters before Nix doubled to left with two outs in the seventh. The Yankees sent Brennan Boesch to hit for Chris Stewart, but Griffin struck out him swinging on a full-count fastball.

Griffin’s biggest challenge was getting through the top of the order in the eighth. He started by allowing a bunt single to Brett Gardner. A’s manager Bob Melvin brought in Sean Doolittle, who retired Robinson Cano on a flyout and got Vernon Wells to hit into a double play.

Doolittle also retired the first two hitters in the ninth on four pitchers before giving way to Grant Balfour, who ended the Athletics’ second shutout by striking out Eduardo Nunez for his fourth save in as many opportunities.

Adam Rosales led off the game with a home run and Derek Norris had an RBI single for Oakland, which won for just the fifth time in its last 15 games since a 12-4 start.

C.C. Sabathia (4-3) failed to reach the seventh inning for the first time in six starts as he allowed two runs and eight hits, one shy of his season high. He threw a season-high 118 pitches but limited Oakland to two runs by getting of trouble in every inning.

Oakland struck on the first pitch of the game when Rosales lined a fastball over the left-field wall and quickly trotted around the bases.

After allowing Rosales’ first career leadoff home run, Sabathia grew stronger and had his first perfect inning in the fourth. Sabathia, however, put two on with one out in the fifth and reached a full count on Jed Lowrie with two outs before Cano ranged far to his left behind the second-base bag, made a throw on the run and retired Lowrie to end the inning.

The Yankees had second and third with two outs in the third after Cano hit a ground-rule double down the left-field line. The threat ended when Wells popped out to first base — one of two instances the Yankees had a runner in scoring position through five against Griffin.

The other time was with one out in the fifth when Nix led off with a single to left field and was sacrificed to second by Stewart. Nix stayed at second when Gardner flied out to medium center and was stranded when Cano lined out to right.


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