BOSTON — The teams with the two best records in the American League opened a three-game series Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
It was a blowout.
The Red Sox, looking to avenge a three-game sweep at the hands of the Rangers in Texas last month, hammered out 13 extra-bases hits, 19 hits overall, and cruised to a 17-5 victory.
Boston was outscored 16-4 in Texas, but it turned that around in one night, scoring in each of the first seven innings and failing to score only when Rangers left fielder David Murphy pitched a scoreless, one-hit eighth.
Jackie Bradley Jr. (his first in the majors), Stephen Drew (No. 5), Mike Carp (No. 4) and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (No. 6) all homered, and David Ortiz drove in three runs in the first two innings with a double and triple to lead the offense in front of Ryan Dempster.
Winning for the first time in six starts, Dempster (3-6) yielded homers to Jeff Baker (No. 5) and Nelson Cruz (No. 13) but was ahead 9-0 when Baker homered in the fourth inning.
Dempster, who finished last season with Texas, pitched seven innings of three-run ball for the rocking-chair win.
The first-place Red Sox, winners of three straight and four of their last five, chased rookie Justin Grimm (5-4) after 1 2/3 innings. Grimm, who came in getting more offensive support than any pitcher in baseball, saw a three-game personal winning streak grind to an abrupt halt. He was once drafted by the Red Sox, but he didn’t sign.
The Red Sox had six extra-base hits in the second inning.
Drew, slumping coming in, had four hits, two RBIs and three runs. Carp had three hits and a walk in the first five innings. Bradley and Carp also drove in three runs apiece. Daniel Nava had three hits, scored four runs and drove in another, and Saltalamacchia had three hits.
Carp was ejected in the eighth inning after taking a called third strike from Murphy, who started the game in left field and finished as the fifth non-pitcher ever to pitch for Texas.
Mitch Moreland (No. 12) hit a meaningless two-run homer in the eighth for Texas, which got three hits from A.J. Pierzynski.
The fun started for the Red Sox in the bottom of the first. Nava led off with a walk, and Carp singled him to second. Dustin Pedroia struck out, but Ortiz doubled off the wall in left to make it 1-0. The bases were loaded when Saltalamacchia’s groundout produced a 2-0 lead in a 34-pitch inning.
That was just a warmup for the second.
Jose Iglesias led with a double and rode home ahead of Bradley’s crushed homer, over the Red Sox bullpen (someone in the ‘pen traded for the ball). Nava singled and Carp walked, and the runners stayed put as Pedroia flied out. Ortiz, who failed to get a triple last season after having one each of the previous five seasons, then ripped his triple to right-center to score a pair.
Mike Napoli’s sacrifice fly got Ortiz home, and Saltalamacchia’s wall doubled meant the end for Grimm. Drew (7-for-45 with 12 strikeouts coming in) then greeted Michael Kirkman with a double, and it was 8-0.
The Sox made it 9-0 in the third when Nava doubled and scored on Carp’s single.
With two outs in the fourth, Pierzynski doubled and scored ahead of Baker’s fifth homer of the season.
Drew greeted Joe Ortiz with a home run, his second in three games, to start the bottom of the fourth. Carp connected leading off the fifth, Boston’s 10th extra-base hit of the game. Right fielder Cruz went over the wall and into the Boston bullpen trying to catch the ball.
NOTES: This was the first time this season the Rangers allowed double figures in runs. … Boston CF Jacoby Ellsbury missed his fourth straight game with a hamstring injury. The team hopes he can return sometime during the Texas series. … Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre missed his second straight start with a hamstring strain. … Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks (back) began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket and is eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday. … Boston RF Shane Victorino (hamstring) isn’t ready for rehab. … Pedroia appeared in his 907th game at the position, moving him past Marty Barrett into third place on the club’s all-time list. … Texas DH Lance Berkman had a rare bunt single as he crossed up the defensive shift in the first inning. … Boston RHP John Lackey, just 12-16 with a 6.14 lifetime ERA against the Rangers, starts Wednesday night, while Texas counters with RHP Alexi Ogando, coming off the DL for the start. Ogando beat Lackey and the Red Sox last month.
Yankees 4, Indians 3: Mark Teixeira hit a three-run home run with one out in the bottom of the third inning and reached base three times as the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 4-3 Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
In his first three plate appearances as a right-handed hitter, the switch-hitting Teixeira singled to left and hit a three-run home run off lefthander Scott Kazmir (3-3). In his first appearance from the left side against reliever Bryan Shaw, Teixeira worked out a nine-pitch walk.
That loaded the bases for Robinson Cano against lefty Nick Hagadone. Cano fell behind 0-2 and hit into an inning-double play.
Teixeira’s second home run in as many nights stood up because of David Phelps (4-3).
Phelps rebounded from the worst start of his brief career by allowing one hit in six innings. However, he issued four walks and threw 102 pitches, forcing his early departure.
Joba Chamberlain gave up a two-out three-run home run to Drew Stubbs in the seventh but Boone Logan struck out Michael Bourn for the final out of the inning. David Robertson put two on with none out in the eighth but retired ex-Yankee Nick Swisher on a lineout double play to second base before easily ending the inning with a groundout.
Mariano Rivera struck out two in the ninth for his 21st save.
Kazmir allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings as he failed to post consecutive victories for the second time this season. Kazmir’s only bad inning was the third when seven Yankees batted and he allowed five hits.
The Yankees had a four-run third for the second time in as many nights.
Lyle Overbay started it with a double and scored on Ichiro’s base hit to right field. The lead stretched to 4-0 when Teixeira hit a 3-1 changeup from Kazmir just inside the left-field foul pole for a home run.
After throwing 31 pitches and getting one out in his last start, Phelps threw 24 pitches in the first inning and allowed one hit the first time through the order.
Phelps allowed just an infield single to Stubbs in the third but opened the fifth with consecutive walks to Mark Reynolds and Jason Giambi. He avoided further trouble with three quick outs and kept the shutout going by retiring Bourn for the final out.
The Yankees nearly made it 5-0 but Stubbs took a potential extra-base hit away from Cano with a catch just before the right-field warning track for the second out of the inning.