John Smoltz made the first start of his career in Texas on Monday, but it was one to forget. The Rangers touched him up for six runs in the 6-3 Boston loss, including three home runs in the sixth inning.
Rangers 6, Red Sox 3
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
July 20, 2009
Headliner: All-Star Michael Young showed off his power at the plate on Monday, going 3-for-4 with a solo home run, double and two runs scored to pace the Rangers offense. Young is now hitting .311 on the season with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs.
Dirt Dog: Kevin Millwood picked up his ninth win of the season with six solid innings for the Rangers. Millwood allowed two earned runs on six hits, striking out three and walking one in his 111-pitch outing. Millwood had struggled of late, as the win is his first since June 26, when he beat the Padres.
Better luck next time: After starting against the Nationals, Orioles, A's and Royals, Smoltz finally got his first test against one of the game's elite offenses and he didn't fare so well. Smoltz lasted just 5 2/3 innings, giving up six earned runs on nine hits. The Rangers, the league leaders in home runs, picked up three more homers off Smoltz on Monday, all of them coming in the sixth inning.
Key moment: The Red Sox held a 2-1 lead over the Rangers until the sixth. And it was then that Smoltz began to lose steam. The Rangers touched him up for five runs in the frame. Smoltz allowed five hits, three of them home runs, in the sixth inning as the Rangers jumped on top of the Red Sox 6-2. The five-run outburst chased Smoltz from the game, as he was unable to make it to the seventh inning yet again.
On deck: The Red Sox will turn to Josh Beckett (11-3, 3.35) on Tuesday to try and stop their three-game slide that now has them tied with the Yankees atop the AL East. Beckett has been one of the top pitchers in the game over the past few weeks, and the Red Sox will need him to continue his winning ways to prevent the skid from reaching four. The Rangers send Tommy Hunter (1-1, 2.35) to the hill to try and clinch the series and push the Rangers' winning streak to three.