June 22, 2018
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Boston’s Lackey shuts down Rangers for fifth victory

Jim Cowsert | USA Today Sports
Jim Cowsert | USA Today Sports
Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino (right) is congratulated by third baseman Will Middlebrooks (16) following their team's win over the Texas Rangers 5-2 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, Sunday.
By John Henry, The Sports Xchange

ARLINGTON, Texas — Boston Red Sox right-hander John Lackey made a somewhat noteworthy start more memorable in Boston’s 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.

The Texas native, who pitched collegiately at nearby Texas-Arlington, made his 20th career start at Globe Life Park, passing Felix Hernandez for most all-time for a visitor in Arlington.

He entered with a mediocre 7-7 record and an ERA above six in those starts, but Lackey showed a flash of brilliance against the Rangers, striking out nine and walking none over seven innings.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-3 with a walk and a home run, and catcher A.J. Pierzynski had a two-run single in Boston’s three-run first inning.

The right-handed Lackey gave up two runs on seven hits in earning his fifth victory of the season against two losses. He lowered his ERA to 3.57.

Left-handed pitcher Andrew Miller worked a scoreless eighth for the Red Sox, and Koji Uehara struck out two of the three hitters he faced in the ninth to earn his ninth save.

Left-hander Robbie Ross (1-4) took his third loss in his last four starts. Ross gave up five runs on six hits and two walks. He also had three strikeouts.

Pedroia’s home run in the seventh was Ross’ last pitch of the game. Right fielder Shane Victorino and first baseman Mike Napoli also had RBI singles for the Red Sox (19-18).

Right fielder Alex Rios went 2-for-3 with two stolen bases and a run scored for the Rangers (19-18). Left fielder Shin-Soo Choo had a home run but also struck out three times, including twice against Lackey.

Designated hitter Mitch Moreland had an RBI double for Texas in the seventh.

Boston backed Lackey with three runs in the first. Napoli had a run-scoring double to right and Pierzynski drove in two with a single to right.

Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. accounted for the Red Sox’ fourth run, leading off the second with a double, advancing on Jonathan Herrera’s sacrifice bunt and coming home on Pedroia’s groundout.

Lackey retired the first nine hitters he faced before Choo sent an offering 411 feet over the left-center-field wall to open the Rangers’ half of the fourth.

Lackey worked out of a jam in the seventh after giving up three straight one-out hits, including a run-scoring double from Moreland. But he struck out center fielder Leonys Martin and second baseman Rougned Odor to preserve a three-run lead.

On Saturday night, Boston’s Shane Victorino had three hits and drove in four runs while David Ortiz homered among his two hits to lift the Red Sox by the Rangers 8-3.

Left-hander Jon Lester (4-4) struck out eight and allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings to win his second straight start. Jonny Gomes drove in two runs while Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Jackie Bradley Jr. each had two hits for the Red Sox, who recorded 11 after nearly being no-hit by Yu Darvish the night before.

Elvis Andrus, Alex Rios and Prince Fielder drove in runs as the Rangers lost for the sixth time in their last eight home games. Martin Perez (4-3) yielded six runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings and has allowed 19 runs in his last 13 1/3 frames after recording a career-best 26-inning scoreless streak.

Texas pitchers didn’t allow a run for 23 innings before Victorino delivered a two-out RBI single in the second. After Ortiz hit Perez’s first pitch of the third out to right, Boston exploded for four runs in the fourth when Victorino delivered a two-run single to right and Gomes drove in a pair with a two-out hit to left-center to make it 6-0.


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