Final, Rangers 3-2: Joe Nathan had no problem shutting down the Red Sox offense in the ninth inning, and the Rangers bounce back from a big loss in the series opener to earn a 3-2 victory.
Elvis Andrus’ two-run double in the seventh inning proved to be the crucial blow. Dustin Pedroia tied the game 1-1 the half-inning prior, but Andrus gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead by drilling Koji Uehara’s first pitch of the night into the left-center field gap.
The Red Sox had a few chances to come back after Andrus’ double, but couldn’t capitalize. They had two runners on with no outs in the seventh inning, and the runners ended up getting stranded at second and third. Then, the Sox had the potential tying run at second base in the eighth inning after Jarrod Saltalamacchia cut the deficit in half with an RBI double, but Stephen Drew couldn’t cash in with two outs.
The loss spoils another strong outing by John Lackey. Lackey went six innings, allowing one run on five hits. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter while throwing 108 pitches (75 strikes).
Neal Cotts picked up the win, while Craig Breslow, who put two runners on before Andrus’ double, suffered the loss.
The Red Sox and Rangers will finish their series with a rubber match on Thursday. Jon Lester and Derek Holland will go toe-to-toe in a battle of southpaws. The action is scheduled to start up at 7:10 p.m.
Good night, everyone.
Mid 9th, Rangers 3-2: The Rangers squared up a couple of balls against Andrew Bailey in the ninth inning. But they were long outs, and the right-hander survived a two-out walk to keep the deficit at one run.
Jeff Baker and Jurickson Profar both hit the ball well. Unfortunately for the Rangers, they hit it right at guys, and the end result was two flyouts.
Craig Gentry then walked, marking his second walk since entering the game. He tried to steal, but David Ross, who entered the game before the start of the inning, gunned him down with ease.
Jose Iglesias, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Daniel Nava are due up for the Red Sox in the last of the ninth. They’ll face Rangers closer Joe Nathan.
End 8th, Rangers 3-2: The Red Sox cut the deficit in half.
Tanner Scheppers took over for Texas in the eighth inning. He started off on a positive note, but he ran into some two-out trouble.
Dustin Pedroia flied out to center, and David Ortiz grounded out to short. Mike Napoli then walked on four pitches, though, and the Sox were able to cash in this time around.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia stayed back on a curveball and ripped it right down the right-field line. The ball got caught up near the wall beyond the tarp in right field, and that allowed Napoli to motor all the way around from first base.
The Red Sox brought in Pedro Ciriaco to pinch-run for Saltalamacchia, who represented the potential tying run, but Stephen Drew grounded out to end the inning.
The run cuts into the lead, but it also means the Red Sox will have some work to do in the ninth inning. Andrew Bailey will try to keep this a one-run game.
Mid 8th, Rangers 3-1: The heart of the Red Sox order will come up in the eighth inning with the deficit still at two runs.
Junichi Tazawa pitched the eighth inning, and he retired the side in order.
Adrian Beltre grounded out to short, Nelson Cruz struck out swinging and A.J. Pierzynski flied out to center field.
Boston will send up Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli in the eighth.
End 7th, Rangers 3-1: The Red Sox put the tying run into scoring position, but they ultimately came away with nothing.
The bottom third of Boston’s order kicked off the seventh-inning rally. Stephen Drew walked against Neal Cotts and Jose Iglesias singled into right field against Robbie Ross.
Jackie Bradley Jr. failed to get a bunt down, and he ended up striking out swinging, which was a big out for Texas.
Daniel Nava then hit what was essentially a swinging bunt. It allowed Drew and Iglesias to each move up a base, setting the table for Jonny Gomes, who pinch-hit for Mike Carp.
Gomes couldn’t cash in, though. He flied out to center field and left the two men in scoring position.
Mid 7th, Rangers 3-1:The Rangers are back in front.
Craig Breslow allowed a couple of runners to reach before the Red Sox turned to Koji Uehara. Uehara was then greeted with a two-run double by Elvis Andrus.
Mitch Moreland got the seventh-inning attack going with a double down the right-field line. The ball rolled along the wall and should have been a triple, but Moreland pulled something going around the bases, and he limped his way into second base. Moreland came out of the game, and he was replaced by Jeff Baker.
Jurickson Profar attempted to move Baker to third base via a sacrifice bunt. But even though Profar got the bunt, Baker didn’t move up. Breslow came off the mound, made the play and fired to first while holding Baker at second base.
Craig Gentry pinch-hit for Leonys Martin and he walked, which ended Breslow’s night.
Andrus then stepped up and jumped all over Uehara’s first pitch, sending it into the left-center field gap. Uehara had stranded eight of 10 inherited runners before the outing. He wasn’t so fortunate this time around.
End 6th, 1-1: That stings if you’re Alexi Ogando.
Ogando entered the sixth inning on a roll, and he made quick work of Daniel Nava and Mike Carp. Nava flied out to right field, and Carp hit a ball right at Leonys Martin in center.
Ogando’s night ended abruptly, though.
Dustin Pedroia took a big cut at a high fastball and lifted it to left field. The ball just kept carrying, and when it landed, it did so inside the light tower on top of the Green Monster.
Pedroia’s home run was his fourth of the season, and Rangers manager Ron Washington immediately turned to the bullpen to grab a lefty with David Ortiz coming up.
Neal Cotts entered the game and walked both Ortiz and Mike Napoli. After a visit from pitching coach Mike Maddux, Cotts settled down to strike out Jarrod Saltalamacchia with a high fastball.
Ogando was very effective and was one out away from completing six solid innings, but he won’t factor into the decision. Ogando allowed just the one run over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked three while tossing 92 pitches (55 strikes).
Craig Breslow is coming on to pitch the seventh inning for Boston, which means John Lackey also won’t factor into the decision.
Mid 6th, Rangers 1-0: Nelson Cruz got plunked, and then responded in the best way possible — he swiped second base. That’s as far as he’d get, though.
Lance Berkman and Adrian Beltre each flied out to begin the sixth. Berkman lifted a fly ball to left field, while Beltre skied a ball to center. Initially, it looked — and sounded — as if Beltre’s flyout had a chance to get out of the yard, but Jackie Bradley Jr. hauled it in just in front of the warning track.
John Lackey hit Cruz up around the shoulder with two outs, which prompted Cruz to slowly take his base. After Cruz stole second, A.J. Pierzynski was retired on a ground ball to second base.
End 5th, Rangers 1-0: Both pitchers have been in control, for the most part.
Alexi Ogando issued a two-out walk to Jose Iglesias, but it didn’t evolve into anything more than a brief lack of control.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia preceded the walk by putting a good swing on a 1-1 pitch. He lifted it to center field, but Leonys Martin sized it up and put it away for the first out.
Stephen Drew and Jackie Bradley Jr. both struck out looking in the inning — with Iglesias’ walk mixed in between. Drew looked at a changeup, while Ogando went with a slider to get Bradley.
Mid 5th, Rangers 1-0: The Rangers put a couple of runners on base against John Lackey in the fifth inning, but he ensured that Boston’s deficit remained at one.
Jurickson Profar got the threat going with one out. He lifted a blooper down the right-field line that fell out of the reach of Daniel Nava, Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli, who all gave chase.
Elvis Andrus, the other half of Texas’ dynamic middle infield, added to the rally with a base hit into right field.
Lackey escaped the first-and-second jam by getting David Murphy to ground out to second.
Lackey struck out Leonys Martin in the inning as well. The righty went with a nasty curveball down and out of the zone to pick up the strikeout, which was his fifth of the game.
End 4th, Rangers 1-0: Fenway Park came alive in the fourth inning. But when it was over, the Bruins were the only Boston team to score.
The Fenway Faithful started cheering in the fourth when they realized, via the Green Monster scoreboard, that the Bruins jumped ahead of the Penguins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. They kept cheering because the Red Sox put together a rally, although it ultimately fell short.
Mike Carp nearly homered for the second straight night. He drilled a ball high off the center-field wall with one out. Because of the ricochet, Carp might have been able to reach third base had he gone for it. He misplayed the bounce, though, and he ended up with just a double.
Dustin Pedroia walked to put runners at first and second for David Ortiz. Ortiz found himself in a favorable 2-0 count, but Alexi Ogando worked his way back and struck out Ortiz on a 96-mph fastball.
A wild pitch moved Carp to third and Pedroia to second. Mike Napoli couldn’t cash in, though. He struck out looking on an offspeed offering in a 3-2 count.
Mid 4th, Rangers 1-0: Adrian Beltre doesn’t get cheated when he swings the bat.
John Lackey got two quick outs in the fourth inning, seemingly setting up another fast inning for the right-hander. Beltre had other plans, though, and he put the Rangers on the scoreboard with a solo homer.
David Murphy flied out to center field and Lance Berkman struck out looking before Beltre went to work. Lackey actually got to two strikes on Beltre, but he left a pitch up in the zone and the Rangers third baseman drove it into the center-field bleachers.
Nelson Cruz doubled into the triangle to try and help build on the newfound lead, but Lackey struck out A.J. Pierzynski with a nice-looking four-seam fastball to end the inning.
End 3rd, 0-0: Stephen Drew thought he had a double to lead off the third inning, but second-base umpire Sam Holbrook saw things differently.
Drew led off with a line drive toward the left-center field gap. Left fielder David Murphy ran over and cut it off, but Drew was thinking two bases right out of the box. Murphy’s throw to second was off the bag a little bit, and Jurickson Profar dove to tag Drew as Drew dove head-first into second. Holbrook called Drew out, but replays clearly showed that Profar missed the tag.
Drew, as you might expect, wasn’t happy, and he jumped up to dispute the call. John Farrell also rushed out to argue his case before cooler heads prevailed.
Jose Iglesias flied out to center and Jackie Bradley Jr. lined out sharply to left field to end the inning. The wind was definitely taken out of Boston’s sail in that inning on the botched call by Holbrook, though.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: John Lackey suffered his first minor hiccup in the third inning, and he responded well.
Mitch Moreland inside-outed a double off the Green Monster to give the Rangers their first hit of the game.
Lackey actually got ahead of Moreland, but the Rangers first baseman fought back. Moreland fouled off three straight pitches at one point before capping off the 11-pitch at-bat with a leadoff two-bagger.
Moreland moved to third base when Jurickson Profar grounded out to first, but Lackey really buckled down from there.
Leonys Martin grounded back to the mound. Lackey made the play, looked Moreland back to third and fired to first for the second out of the inning. The right-hander got out of the inning by getting Elvis Andrus to hit a popup into shallow right field.
End 2nd, 0-0: The Red Sox are responsible for the first baserunner of the game, but a double play took care of that situation.
Alexi Ogando started the second inning off by getting David Ortiz to fly out to center field. It was some loud contact by Ortiz, but the slugger just got under it.
Mike Napoli then walked to momentarily break Ogando’s rhythm a little bit, but the right-hander wasted no time in settling back down. He got Jarrod Saltalamacchia to ground into a 4-6-3, inning-ending double play.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: John Lackey made quick work of the Rangers again in the second inning.
Adrian Beltre kicked off the inning with a sky-high fly ball to right-center. Jackie Bradley Jr., who connected on his first big league home run on Tuesday, glided over to make the play.
Lackey then picked up his second strikeout of the game against Nelson Cruz. Lackey went up and in with a 94-mph heater to notch the K.
A.J. Pierzynski grounded to the right side with two down. Mike Napoli ranged over and backhanded it before tossing to Lackey to end the inning.
Lackey is working at a very good pace early on. We’ll see if the Rangers start stepping out more often in order to slow the right-hander down a bit.
End 1st, 0-0: The top of the Red Sox’ order did a lot of damage on Tuesday. Alexi Ogando did a nice job of starting off on the right foot in this one, though.
Ogando retired Daniel Nava, Mike Carp and Dustin Pedroia in order to begin his outing.
Nava grounded out to shortstop, and Carp went down swinging on a good-looking slider from Ogando. It was in the dirt, but catcher A.J. Pierzynski blocked it.
Pedroia gave one a ride to right field with two outs, but Nelson Cruz was able to make the play while running back toward the warning track.
Mid 1st, 0-0: John Lackey is off to a nice start.
Lackey made quick work of the Rangers in the first inning, pitching at a very brisk pace throughout the frame.
Elvis Andrus started the inning with a lazy ground ball to second base that Dustin Pedroia took care of easily.
Lackey then struck out David Murphy for out No. 2. Lackey jumped ahead of Murphy 0-2, and he continued to pound the strike zone. Murphy fouled off the first 0-2 offering he saw, but Lackey painted the outside corner with the next pitch to pick up the strikeout.
Lance Berkman grounded a ball to the right of the second base bag with the shift on and two outs. Jose Iglesias was in a good position to make an easy play to end the inning.
Lackey had fallen behind Berkman 3-0, so it was a nice job of bouncing back.
7:11 p.m.: John Lackey’s first pitch is inside for a ball, and we’re underway.
6:55 p.m.: Alexi Ogando will be making his first start since coming off the disabled list, but he was very effective the last time he faced Boston back on May 4.
Ogando was among the pitchers to earn a victory during the Rangers’ three-game sweep in Arlington. He pitched six innings of one-run ball while guiding Texas to a 5-1 win.
His opponent in this game, John Lackey, was also his opponent in that contest. Lackey went five innings in that game, allowing three runs on six hits. A wacky two-run infield single ultimately did Lackey in, though.
6:46 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury is missing his fifth straight game, and John Farrell hasn’t ruled out a trip to the DL if the outfielder’s health doesn’t continue to improve. Farrell did defend Ellsbury’s toughness, though.
6:14 p.m.: General manager Ben Cherington and director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye spoke with the media on Wednesday. They discussed the upcoming draft, in which the Red Sox hold the seventh overall pick — their highest selection in 20 years.
Basically, as you might expect, Cherington and Sawdaye plan to take the best available player. As we’ve seen over the years, that tends to be a pretty good player when you’re picking at No. 7. To see what I mean, check out the link below.
5:55 p.m.: Jonny Gomes will be honored before Wednesday’s game.
Gomes made a $25,000 donation to the National Child ID program. It’s being used to purchase 12,500 child identification kits for distribution at Wednesday’s game at Fenway Park and in the greater Boston area throughout the year. Gomes is being recognized by the AFCA and FBI for his commitment to child protection and sponsorship of the Child ID kits.
What a guy.
5:11 p.m.: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
On Wednesday, the Red Sox will go with the same lineup that put up 17 runs on 19 hits on Tuesday. That lineup, as well as the Rangers’ starting nine, can be seen below.
Red Sox (36-23)
Daniel Nava, RF
Mike Carp, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Jose Iglesias, SS
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
John Lackey, RHP (3-5, 2.96 ERA)
Elvis Andrus, SS
David Murphy, LF
Lance Berkman, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Nelson Cruz, RF
Mitch Moreland, 1B
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Leonys Martin, CF
Alexi Ogando, RHP (4-2, 3.08 ERA)
10:30 a.m. ET: The Rangers had the Red Sox’ number going into this week’s series at Fenway Park, but Boston may have gotten it all back in one night.
After getting thumped by the Rangers over three games in Texas in May, in which Boston was outscored 16-4, the Red Sox turned it on at home, beating the visitors 17-5 on Tuesday night. They get their second chance to show their mettle against the American League powerhouse tonight with John Lackey (3-5, 2.96 ERA) on the mound.
Lackey has been especially sharp over his last three starts, going 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA and 18 strikeouts. He’ll see some familiar faces in the Rangers lineup after pitching in the same division as Texas when he was with the Angels.
Alexi Ogando (4-2, 3.08 ERA) will start for the Rangers.
First pitch is going at 7:10 p.m., and be sure to come back here before that for news and updates.