BOSTON — Designated hitter David Ortiz hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning to power the Boston Red Sox to a much-needed 4-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
The victory helped salvage a difficult opening homestand for the Red Sox, who had lost four of five at Fenway Park before Big Papi delivered again.
Texas took the lead on a sacrifice fly in the top of eighth, but Rangers reliever Alexi Ogando began the bottom half by walking Boston center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and allowing a bloop single to pinch-hitter A.J. Pierzynski.
After second baseman Dustin Pedroia reached on a fielder’s choice that erased pinch-runner Grady Sizemore at second, Rangers manager Ron Washington turned to southpaw Neal Cotts to face the left-handed hitting Ortiz.
Ortiz watched Cotts’ first pitch for a strike, checked his swing on the second to run the count to 1-1 and then crushed a 76 mph slider into the right-field stands.
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara pitched a perfect ninth for his second save of the year.
First baseman Mitch Moreland homered for Texas, which took the lead against reliever Andrew Miller in the eighth.
Shortstop Elvis Andrus led off the eighth with a double, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a line drive sacrifice fly to center by right fielder Alex Rios.
Boston starter Jake Peavy cruised through six innings, allowing only two hits, including left fielder Shin-Soo Choo’s double on the first pitch of the game. The right-hander did not surrender another hit until center fielder Leonys Martin singled with one out in the fifth, striking out seven of 10 batters during one stretch.
But Moreland tied the score with one swing leading off the seventh, sending a 2-0 fastball sailing into the Rangers’ bullpen in right field.
Peavy gave up one run and three hits through 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking four for his second straight no-decision.
Rangers starter Robbie Ross surrendered just one hit through five innings but walked six batters, including Bradley Jr. with one out in the third. After a second straight walk to left fielder Jonny Gomes, Ross fielded a short chopper by Pedroia and threw wildly to first, allowing Bradley Jr. to trot home.
Ross allowed just the unearned run and two hits overall, including a double by Ortiz that ended his outing.
NOTES: The Red Sox on Wednesday activated LHP Craig Breslow from the disabled list and sent RHP Brandon Workman to Triple-A Pawtucket. Breslow, who had strained his left shoulder, went 5-2 with a 1.81 ERA out of Boston’s bullpen last season. … 3B Adrian Beltre returned to Texas on Wednesday for further tests and examination by Dr. Keith Meister after leaving the Rangers’ game on Tuesday with tightness in his left quadriceps. … RHP Clay Buchholz (0-0, 12.46) will make his second start of the season on Thursday for the Red Sox, who begin a four-game series against RHP Michael Pineda (0-1, 1.50) and the New York Yankees. … RHP Yu Darvish (1-0, 0.00) will take the mound in the Rangers’ next game on Friday against Houston RHP Scott Feldman (2-0, 0.66).