Final, Red Sox 17-5: Andrew Miller works a 1-2-3 ninth, and that’ll do it.
That was quite the showing by the Red Sox, who scored runs in each of the first seven innings en route to their most offensively productive night of the season.
These two teams will be right back at it tomorrow night, same time, same place.
Thanks for joining me, everybody. Have a great night.
End 8th, Red Sox 17-5: A bit of a strange scene here in the eighth, as Mike Carp was ejected after left fielder David Murphy struck him out looking. It’s the first time Carp has been tossed from a game, and it’s an odd thing to see so late in such a lopsided game.
But after allowing a leadoff double to Daniel Nava, Murphy works the only scoreless inning of the night for the Rangers.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 17-5: The Rangers seem to be delaying the inevitable now.
Mitch Moreland homered into the Red Sox bullpen with Craig Gentry on first — the Rangers’ third longball tonight — to bring Texas to within 12 runs.
Texas threatened to add more, leading the bases against Clayton Mortensen, but Andrew Miller entered and resolved the situation in one pitch, getting Leonys Martin to ground out to end the inning.
Here’s something fun: Left fielder David Murphy is now in to pitch for the Rangers.
End 7th, Red Sox 17-3: Ross Wolf recorded two quick outs, but he couldn’t complete the scoreless inning of the night for the Rangers.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia reached on a two-out single and advanced to third on a double down the first-base line by Stephen Drew. They both came home when Jose Iglesias’ sinking liner fell just out of the reach of new center fielder Craig Gentry, extending the Red Sox’ lead to 17-3.
Ryan Dempster’s night is indeed done, as Clayton Mortensen comes on to pitch the eighth for the Sox.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 15-3: This will probably do it for Ryan Dempster, and he ends his night on a high note.
Dempster got Jurickson Profar, Leonys Martin and pinch hitter Leury Garcia all to ground out, retiring the side in order in the top of the seventh.
Dempster has thrown 107 pitches and is all but assured of a win tonight, barring any sort of monumental collapse. But let’s not go there.
End 6th, Red Sox 15-3: All right — this is getting ridiculous.
The Red Sox have now led off three straight innings with home runs after Jarrod Saltalamacchia went yard to kick off the sixth.
After Salty’s homer, Stephen Drew reached on a base hit and advanced all the way to third when Jeff Baker’s throw to first on a Jose Iglesias grounder flew into the Red Sox dugout. Jackie Bradley Jr. then grounded out to first, allowing Drew to score.
Nelson Cruz looked to have the inning’s second out clearly in his sights, but he somehow lost his bearings along the right field line and allowed Daniel Nava’s fly ball to fall for a three-base error. Nava was credited with a sac fly and an RBI on the play.
Mike Carp then brought Nava home on a flyout to center, marking the seventh run scored by Boston’s top two batters tonight, before Dustin Pedroia struck out to end the inning.
Ryan Dempster will return to the mound for a seventh inning of work with a rather sizable lead.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 11-3: Nelson Cruz got a measure of retribution for his tumble over the wall last inning.
The right fielder took Ryan Dempster deep to straightaway center field for his team-leading 14th home run of the season to open the top of the sixth.
But Dempster again settled down, retiring Mitch Moreland, A.J. Pierzynski and Jeff Baker to close out the inning.
Baker’s putout was especially impressive, as Jose Iglesias snared a low rocket of a ground ball before firing to first for the out.
End 5th, Red Sox 11-2: The scoreboard operator is getting a workout tonight.
The Red Sox continued to pound away at the Rangers in the fifth, with Mike Carp jacking a lead-off home run into the Red Sox bullpen to extend Boston’s lead yet again. Right fielder Nelson Cruz sold out on the play, going head over heels into the ‘pen, but he was unable to make the grab.
Joseph Ortiz continued his trend from last inning, serving up a lead-off homer before retiring the next three batters in order.
It’s a nine-run game as we go to the sixth.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 10-2: Ryan Dempster has been exactly what the Red Sox need him to be tonight.
He has been far from perfect, allowing baserunners in four of his five innings, but he has surrendered just the two runs and kept his pitch count at a somewhat manageable level.
Dempster walked Leonys Martin to open the fifth but rebounded with a K and a pair of infield outs to strand the runner — Texas’ fourth man left on base tonight.
Joseph Ortiz will return to work the fifth for the Rangers.
End 4th, Red Sox 10-2: The Sox continued their demolition of Rangers pitching in the fourth.
Stephen Drew homered to center on the first pitch he saw from Joseph Ortiz, increasing the Red Sox’ advantage to 10-2. Ortiz did settle down afterward, though, inducing three straight groundouts to end the inning.
Seven of nine Red Sox hitters have now scored in the game, with only Mike Napoli remaining hitless — although he drove in a run with an RBI flyout in the second and walked twice.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 9-2: The Rangers had a bit of two-out fun in the fourth, getting on the scoreboard for the first time tonight.
After Ryan Dempster retired Nelson Cruz and Mitch Moreland, catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s line drive to right field hopped into the stands for a ground-rule double.
Dempster’s very next pitch was sent into the right field seats by Jeff Baker for a two-run home run, cutting Boston’s lead to a touchdown.
Jurickson Profar then flied out to end the inning. Joe Ortiz will come on to pitch the bottom of the fourth for Texas.
End 3rd, Red Sox 9-0: Most wouldn’t think of Daniel Nava and Mike Carp as the ideal 1-2 punch at the top of the order.
They’ve been just that tonight, though, as both reached base for the third consecutive inning.
Jackie Bradley Jr. was able to put a good jolt into the ball to the opposite field to lead off the frame, but David Murphy ranged back to make the catch in front of the AL East standings.
Nava knocked one “oppo,” as well, with his bouncing into the seats in front of Pesky’s Pole for a ground-rule double. Carp then sent a slider by Michael Kirkman straight back up the middle, scoring Nava from second for Boston’s ninth run of the game.
A double by Dustin Pedroia sent Carp to third, and an intentional walk of Mike Napoli loaded the bases for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who doubled and scored in the second. Salty was unable to make contact this time, though, striking out on three pitches.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 8-0: There’s our first 1-2-3 inning of the night, as Ryan Dempster retires the Rangers’ top three batters in order.
Dempster struck out both Elvis Andrus, who currently leads all AL shortstops in All-Star voting, and David Murphy before getting Lance Berkman to ground out to second.
Jackie Bradley Jr. will come up first for the Sox in their half of the third, and the rookie draws a big cheer from the Fenway Faithful after his home run last inning.
End 2nd, Red Sox 8-0: It’s kids night here at the ballpark — for the Red Sox, at least. The youngster on the mound for the Rangers isn’t faring so well.
Jose Iglesias, who is playing like he never wants to set foot in Pawtucket again, opened the second inning by roping a double to the wall in right-center field.
Jackie Bradley Jr. then cleared that wall in the next at-bat, sending Justin Grimm’s pitch over the Rangers bullpen for his first career home run.
Another hit, this one a single by Daniel Nava, got some action going in that bullpen, and a four-pitch walk to Mike Carp brought Mike Maddux out to the mound for the second time in two innings.
After Dustin Pedroia flied out to right, David Ortiz tripled — yes, tripled — into the triangle to bring home both Nava and Carp. He proceeded to tag up and score on Mike Napoli’s lineout to left field. The big man is really showing off the wheels tonight.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia got on his horse as well, legging out a wall-ball double to officially put Grimm out of his misery. The final line for the rookie: 1 2/3 innings, eight earned runs, seven hits, three walks, one hit-by-pitch, one home run. Yikes.
Southpaw reliever Michael Kirkman picked up right where his starter left off, allowing an RBI double to deep center field by Stephen Drew before striking out Iglesias to conclude the inning.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: Ryan Dempster allowed the first man to reach but was perfect after that, holding the Rangers scoreless again in the second.
A.J. Pierzynski opened the frame with an unplayable ground ball deep in the hole between shortstop and second base.
Jeff Baker, Jurickson Profar and Leonys Martin then went down in order, though — Baker and Martin by way of the K.
Dempster is coming off his best outing in nearly a month — a seven-inning, two-run effort against the Phillies last Tuesday. A brilliant performance by Cliff Lee prevented Dempster from picking up the win in that one (Boston lost 3-1), but the quality start was a welcome sight after three straight clunkers.
Efficiency is always a question mark for Dempster, though. So far, he has thrown 34 pitches, with a 50-50 split of strikes and balls (17-17).
End 1st, Red Sox 2-0: Well, that’s not a bad way to start. The Red Sox sent seven batters to the plate to push across two runs against Justin Grimm in the first.
Daniel Nava opened the inning with a six-pitch walk, and Mike Carp promptly sent him scampering to third with a base hit to right field.
Grimm managed to strike out Dustin Pedroia swinging for out No. 1, but David Ortiz followed with a double off the Monster to bring home Nava for the game’s first run.
Like David Murphy, Grimm was also originally drafted by the Red Sox, but the right-hander chose college over a contract, enrolling at the University of Georgia.
Former Ranger Mike Napoli then drew the second walk of the inning to load the bases, prompting an early mound visit from pitching coach Mike Maddux.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia was unable to get the ball out of the infield, but his sharp ground ball was fielded deep on the dirt by first baseman Mitch Moreland, who had no chance for a double play. Ortiz came home from third on the grounder, stretching the Sox’ advantage to 2-0.
Stephen Drew flied out to left to end the inning.
Mid 1st, 0-0: The Rangers put men in scoring position without the ball leaving the infield in the first, but none were able to cross the plate against Ryan Dempster.
Elvis Andrus opened the inning by popping out in foul territory to Mike Napoli, who did a nice tip-toe job to haul the ball in on the edge of the field.
Dempster then missed with two fastballs before plunking David Murphy in the shoulder to put the game’s first runner on base. Murphy, Boston’s top pick in the 2003 draft, was a highly touted prospect in the Red Sox’ system once upon a time. He played in just 23 games for the Sox, though, before being dealt to Texas midway through the 2007 season.
Murphy then advanced to second on a smart play by designated hitter Lance Berkman, who bunted into no man’s land down the third base line when Boston put the shift on.
With one out, Nelson Cruz shattered his bat on a ground ball to second base, with Dustin Pedroia only having time to make the play at second. That allowed Murphy to advance to third, but Dempster got Mitch Moreland to ground out to Pedroia, as well, leaving the runners stranded.
7:12 p.m.: Ryan Dempster’s first pitch to Elvis Andrus misses outside for a ball, and we are underway at Fenway. Dempster will see Andrus, David Murphy and Lance Berkman to get us started.
6:20 p.m.: To any former Little League World Series enthusiasts like myself, the name Jurickson Profar brings back some memories.
For those who haven’t heard of the 20-year-old middle infielder, get familiar. He has all the tools to become this year’s Manny Machado if he’s given the opportunity.
Profar has been impressing scouts for nearly a decade, since leading Curacao to consecutive LLWS title games in 2004 and 2005. He was a star pitcher back then, but he now makes a living with his bat and glove.
After an impressive 2012 that included a September call-up, both Baseball America and MLB.com ranked Profar as the top minor league prospect entering this season. He got off to a hot start with Triple-A Round Rock (.278, four homers, 19 RBIs through 37 games), and an injury to All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler earned him a promotion in mid-May.
In the 10 games since the call-up, Profar has been one of Texas’ best hitters, going 12-for-37 (.324) with six RBIs and two home runs, including a game-winning blast in the eighth inning on Sunday.
The lack of Kinsler and Adrian Beltre takes some of the pop out of one of the league’s most dangerous lineups, but Profar is someone that can make some real noise near the bottom of the order.
5:20 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury got a run in during warmups, but he will not be in the lineup tonight for the Red Sox. Manager John Farrell said the center fielder is progressing and could be back on the field as soon as tomorrow, but it will be Jackie Bradley Jr. patrolling center at Fenway this evening.
Over in the third base dugout, the Rangers are dealing with some injury issues of their own. Second baseman Ian Kinsler, who is suffering from a “stress reaction” in his ribs, has not played since May 17 and will miss at least another 10 days, while Adrian Beltre will sit out his second straight game with a minor hamstring strain.
Avoiding Beltre is good news for Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster, as the third baseman has had success in this ballpark in the past. During his one season with Boston in 2010, Beltre compiled a .314/.359/.521 slash line with 13 homers and 50 RBIs at Fenway Park, though his road statistics were even better. Both he and Kinsler are hitting over .300 this season, and — if you’re into advanced statistics — they rank first and second on the club in WAR (1.9 and 1.6, respectively).
The man to watch tonight is the one replacing Kinsler, but we’ll get to him in a little bit.
Here are the full starting lineups for both teams:
Daniel Nava, LF
Mike Carp, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Stephen Drew, SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Jose Iglesias, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Ryan Dempster, RHP
Elvis Andrus, SS
David Murphy, LF
Lance Berkman, DH
Nelson Cruz, RF
Mitch Moreland, 1B
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Jeff Baker, 3B
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Leonys Martin, CF
Justin Grimm, RHP
8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox have been truly dominated by just one team this season. That team just so happens to be rolling into Fenway Park tonight, as Boston opens a three-game the American League West-leading Texas Rangers.
Texas swept the Sox in three games down in Arlington earlier this year, owning a 16-4 edge on the scoreboard during the series. That sweep triggered a brutal slide for Boston, which proceeded to drop six of its next eight games upon returning from the Lone Star State.
The Red Sox have been one of the league’s hottest teams since getting off that schneid, though, going 13-6 over their last 19 games. They enter this homestand with the second-best record in the AL — second only to these Rangers.
Former Ranger Ryan Dempster (2-6, 4.45 ERA) will take the hill for Boston in his first start against his former team, while right-hander Justin Grimm — with just 11 major league starts under his belt — will toe the rubber for Texas. Grimm (5-3, 3.93 ERA) has picked up the win in each of his last three starts.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m., but be sure to check back here throughout the day for your starting lineups and a whole lot more.