It appears the Boston Red Sox didn’t like nearly being no-hit.
The Red Sox pounded 11 hits Saturday en route to an 8-3 win over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. It was a solid rebound effort for the Red Sox, who were blanked Friday as Rangers starter Yu Darvish fell one out short of tossing the first no-hitter against Boston since 1993.
Let’s go over some notes from Saturday’s game.
— Shane Victorino’s return has had a noticeable impact on the Red Sox.
Victorino went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, raising his average to .288 since coming off the disabled list before the Red Sox’s April 24 game against the New York Yankees. Victorino’s individual statistics since returning from a hamstring injury aren’t eye-popping, but his insertion into the No. 2 spot in Boston’s order behind Dustin Pedroia clearly has made the Red Sox’s offense a better unit.
The Red Sox averaged 3.8 runs per game through their first 22 games. Boston has averaged 4.6 runs per game in 14 games since, and it’s largely due to the new lineup construction featuring Pedroia in the leadoff spot and Victorino in the two-hole.
Oh yeah, Victorino’s work in right field continues to be strong, too.
“The biggest thing was just his defense,” Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester said Saturday. “We all saw last year how special he is out in right field. Tonight, he cuts off (Elvis) Andrus’s double — a sure double — keeps it a single, and that’s huge, anytime you’re able to do that.”
— David Ortiz launched his seventh home run of the season in the third inning. Big Papi now ranks fourth on the Red Sox’s all-time home run list with 380 career homers in a Boston uniform.
Ortiz trails only only Ted Williams (521), Carl Yastrzemski (452) and Jim Rice (382).
— Lester battled his way through seven strong innings to earn his fourth win of the season. The left-hander gave up three earned runs on four hits and three walks while striking out eight.
— Victorino’s three hits led the way. Ortiz, Pedroia and Jackie Bradley Jr. each collected two hits.
— Jonny Gomes had a two-run single as part of Boston’s four-run fourth inning.
— Xander Bogaerts was in the lineup despite getting cleated in the knee on Rougned Odor’s stolen-base attempt Friday. The shortstop had a rough night, though, going 0-for-5 with a strikeout.
— Will Middlebrooks got hit on the hand in the eighth inning. He was checked on by the trainer but stayed in the game.
Middlebrooks, of course, broke his wrist during his rookie season in 2012, so it’s always concerning when the 25-year-old gets plunked in that area, though he appeared to be OK.
— Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux was ejected by first base umpire Vic Carapazza immediately after Middlebrooks got hit in the eighth inning for arguing about something.
— The Red Sox ran into three outs on the bases — David Ross was caught trying to steal second base for some reason, Pedroia was thrown out on a failed hit-and-run attempt and Bradley was thrown out at the plate. The Sox need to clean that up, as baserunning has been a major issue early on this season.