June 20, 2018
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Rangers use five-run third to beat Red Sox

David Butler II | USA Today Sports
David Butler II | USA Today Sports
Boston Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski breaks his bat on a hit driving in a run against the Texas Rangers in the seventh inning at Fenway Park in Boston Tuesday night.
By The Sports Xchange, Special to the BDN

BOSTON — Catcher Robinson Chirinos’ solo home run ignited a five-run third inning, and the Texas Rangers hung on for a 10-7 win over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.

First baseman Prince Fielder and designated hitter Adrian Beltre both recorded two hits and two RBIs, and left fielder Shin-Soo Choo had two hits, two walks and two runs for the Rangers, who led 8-0 and won for just the second time in five games.

Boston first baseman Mike Napoli, center fielder Grady Sizemore and catcher A.J. Pierzynski had three hits apiece, but the Red Sox grounded into five double plays, all in the first six innings.

Boston starter Felix Doubront (1-1) lasted just 2 2/3 innings, surrendering five runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

The left-hander retired six straight before Chirinos led off the third with his second career home run, crushing a 3-2 fastball over the Green Monster in left field.

It promptly spiraled out of control for Doubront, who allowed seven of the next nine batters to reach base and the Rangers to bat around before being pulled following a bases-loaded walk to Chirinos that made it 5-0.

Choo singled with one out and scored on Fielder’s double down the right field line, and Beltre made it 3-0 with a base hit to left. Beltre moved to second on right fielder Alex Rios’ single and scored on second baseman Donnie Murphy’s bloop double — a ball that center fielder Grady Sizemore hesitated on before missing on a diving attempt.

Doubront then issued consecutive walks, the latter to Chirinos ending his night after only 59 pitches.

Texas tacked on three more runs in the fourth off reliever Burke Badenhop.

Boston finally scored in the bottom of the fourth when second baseman Dustin Pedroia doubled and scored on Napoli’s single.

Chirinos got the run back by doubling and scoring on Choo’s double in the fifth.

Pierzynski delivered an RBI single in the seventh and right fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. added a two-run double that cut Boston’s deficit to 9-4.

Center fielder Michael Choice had a sacrifice fly in the ninth for Texas before Bradley plated a run with a single in the bottom of the inning. Designated hitter David Ortiz’s two-run double brought Boston within three, but Rangers closer Joakim Soria struck out Napoli to end the game.

NOTES: In seven career appearances against the Rangers, LHP Felix Doubront is 0-4 with a 12.26 ERA, his highest against any American League club. … Texas DH Adrian Beltre left the game in the bottom of the fifth with tightness in his left quadriceps. … LHP Robbie Ross (0-0, 3.60) will pitch Wednesday for Texas against Boston RHP Jake Peavy (0-0, 3.00) in the finale of the three-game series at 4 p.m. It is the Rangers’ lone trip to Boston this season.

Lackey winning over fans

Boston Red Sox fans have now really taken a liking to veteran right-hander John Lackey.

Once the target of the Fenway Park boo-birds, Lackey has recovered from 2012 Tommy John surgery and become a vital part of Boston’s pitching staff.

He was 3-1 in the 2013 postseason and was the winning pitcher in the clinching sixth game against the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. He has followed that with a strong 2-0 start, going seven strong innings in a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.

“We had some opportunities against Lackey, but he showed why he’s one of the best pitchers in the American League,” said Texas manager Ron Washington. “He made pitches when he had to.”

And he kept the Red Sox from a fourth straight loss — something they were able to avoid throughout last season, when they lost three in a row five times but never four.

“I just think it’s a consistent mindset overall,” Lackey said. “I think we’ve got guys that come to work and take today as today. We’re not worried about what happened yesterday — just to go out and play the best you can today. And that consistent mindset leads to some pretty good results at the end.”

Roberts: ‘a blessing to be here’

Infielder Ryan Roberts was signed by the Red Sox as a free agent and was in uniform, wearing No. 7, against Texas on Monday night. Roberts provides a proven major leaguer at third base with Will Middlebrooks on the disabled list. He also has some power, hitting 19 home runs for the Diamondbacks in 2011.

“I think it’s a blessing to be here,” Roberts said. “I feel very blessed to be here and a part of this organization. I played against the Red Sox for a few years and to actually put on a uniform, it gives you a different feeling.” The plan is for Roberts to platoon with Jonathan Herrera while Middlebrooks is out.


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