The Boston Red Sox scored early and often, pounding out 17 runs on 19 hits against six Texas pitchers Tuesday night to blast the Rangers 17-5 in the opener of a three game series. Boston scored in seven of eight offensive innings, failing to put up runs only in the eighth against Texas pitching. The only Ranger pitcher to hold them scoreless was not even a pitcher. Hoping to spare a pistol-whipped bullpen, manager Ron Washington put left fielder David Murphy on the mound to face Boston in the home half of the eighth. Murphy responded by tossing the frame with one hit, no runs and even notched a strike out against Mike Carp, earning Carp his first ejection of his Major League career for arguing a third called strike.
Ryan Dempster turned in a quality start to compliment Boston’s offensive outburst to improve to 3-6 on the season. The right hander finished with a pitching line of IP 7 R 3 H 5 ER 3 BB 1 K 6 PC 107. Clayton Mortenson lasted just two-thirds of an inning in relief, surrendering four hits including Mitch Moreland’s home run that tightened the score to 17-5 before Andrew Miller came on in the bottom of the 8th to close out a bases loaded situation on a one-pitch ground out. Miller finished the one-sided contest with a scoreless 9th inning for Boston.
The win improved Boston to 36-23 on the season, 13 games above .5oo and likewise improved the Red Sox to 7-4 against A.L. West teams while the Rangers fell to 5-2 against A.L. East opponents.
The Red Sox jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first thanks to an RBI wall-ball double by David Ortiz and a fielder’s choice producing RBI from Jarrod Saltalamachia, scoring Daniel Nava and Mike Carp, who had walked and singled respectively off Texas starter Justin Grimm, who struggled early with control and threw 32 pitches in the first frame.
Boston’s youth movement ignited an explosive second inning that pushed the Red Sox lead to 8-0. Jose Iglesias opened the frame with a stiff double and was plated when rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. crushed his first major league home run to deep center. Nava followed with a single, Carp then walked, and both scored on Ortiz’s triple, his first since April 11 of 2011. Mike Napoli doubled in Papi and Saltalamachia followed with another double to score Napoli, and Naps scored on a follow up double by Stephen Drew to push the Red Sox to an eight run lead, chasing rookie Justin Grimm who entered the game with a 5-3 record and exited with a 5-4 record.
The Red Sox tacked on their 9th run in the bottom of the third when Nava reached on a ground rule double and scored on Carp’s RBI single. Pedroia stroked a double down the left field line in the third as well, to match Boston’s high of six doubles in a single game, but was stranded to close out the inning with the Red Sox up by a 9-0 advantage.
Texas got on the board in the top of the fourth when catcher A.J. Pierzynski stroked a ground rule double to right off Boston starter Ryan Dempster. His hit broke a string of eight straight retired by Dempster. Boston’s shut out went out the window when Jeff Baker followed with a hooking home run around the Pesky pole to make it 9-2 Boston. The Red Sox got the run right back in the bottom of the fourth when Stephen Drew lead off the inning with his 5th home run of the year, clearing the center field triangle wall to make it 10-2.
The Red Sox scored again in the bottom of the 5th when Mike Carp drove a fly ball to right that Nelson Cruz got a glove on, but the momentum of the ball carried Cruz over the wall, into the Red Sox bullpen and resulted in Carp’s 4th dinger of the year to push Boston’s advantage to 11-2.
Cruz got a measure of revenge moments later when he crushed a Dempster pitch over the left-center wall for his 14th round-tripper of the year to make it 11-3.
The Red Sox continued the offensive onslaught in the bottom of the 6th with some sloppy help from the Rangers. Saltalamachia opened the inning with his 6th home run of the year, followed by a Stephen Drew single, a throwing error that allowed Iglesias to reach, an RBI fielder’s choice from Bradley, followed by a second Ranger’s throwing error that allowed Nava to reach and pushed the score to 15-3 Boston when Mike Carp hit an RBI sac fly.
The Red Sox struck again in the 7th. Stephen Drew collected his fourth hit of the night with Boston’s 7th double of the game, scoring Saltalamachia who reached on a single. Iglesias chased home two more runs with a single to make it 17-3. The Red Sox closed out the inning with 6 players having both multiple hit and multiple RBI outings.
Boston was once again without the services of center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, scratched for the fourth straight game with a strained groin.
Game two of the Rangers-Red Sox series Wednesday night will feature left Alexi Ogando at 4-2 with a sparkling 3.08 ERA against John lackey at 3-5 with an ERA of 2.96.
- Red Sox Score Season Best In 17-5 Win Over Rangers (connecticut.cbslocal.com)
- MLB: Boston 17, Texas 5 (upi.com)