Rangers Edge Red Sox, Take Over AL Wild Card Lead

Rangers Edge Red Sox, Take Over AL Wild Card Lead
The Rangers are the proud new leaders in the American League wild-card
race after topping the Red Sox 4-3 on Sunday in Arlington, Texas.

The Rangers, led by homers from Ian Kinsler and Taylor Teagarden, drove Red Sox rookie hurler Junichi Tazawa from
the game after just five innings en route to their second straight win
over the Sox. Tazawa allowed four earned runs on 10 hits over five
innings for his second loss of the season.

Leading the Red Sox offense was David Ortiz, who launched his 17th homer of the season. Dustin Pedroia smacked his 10th long ball of the year in the seventh while Victor Martinez had two hits as the Rangers out-hit the Red Sox 11-8.

Rangers 4, Red Sox 3
Rangers Ballpark, Arlington, Texas
August 16, 2009

Live Blog | Box Score | Recap

Headliner: Ian Kinsler
paced the Rangers offense by driving in a pair of runs while blasting
his second homer in as many days. His 25th longball of the season tied
things up at one apiece in the second inning while his RBI single in
the third gave Texas a 3-1 lead. Kinsler, who went 2-for-3 with a walk,
now has 66 RBIs on the season and has five hits in his last three
games.

Dirt dog: David Ortiz went 1-for-2 with a solo
homer, two runs scored and a pair of walks in the Red Sox' second
straight loss. Big Papi’s 17th long ball of the season to lead off the
second inning gave the Sox an early 1-0 lead. It was Ortiz’s second
homer in three games and his 23rd career homer against the Rangers.

Better luck next time: Junichi Tazawa
was pegged for four earned runs on 10 hits in just five innings in his
second career big-league start. The 23-year-old walked three and didn’t
strike out any Rangers batters as he dropped to 1-2 on the season.
Texas got to Taz in the second when Ian Kinsler smacked a solo
blast to left. After allowing a couple more runs in the third, Tazawa
let up a monster shot to left off the bat of Taylor Teagarden
to give the Rangers a 4-2 lead. Since joining the Sox a little over a
week ago, Tazawa has pitched 11 2/3 innings, allowing seven earned runs
(5.40 ERA) on 18 hits and five walks.

Key moment: With one out and the Rangers leading 4-3 in the top of the eighth, Mike Lowell singled and Casey Kotchman walked to put runners on first and second but C.J. Wilson got both Brian Anderson and Alex Gonzalez to strike out looking to end the Red Sox' final threat. 

On deck:
The Red Sox head north of the border for a three-game series with the Blue Jays following a day off on Monday. Ace Josh Beckett takes the hill against Ricky Romero, who is 10-5 with a 3.70 ERA.

Beckett
became baseball’s first 14-game winner last week after allowing just
two runs over eight innings against the Tigers at Fenway Park. In 15 of
his last 18 starts, he’s allowed just three runs or fewer, picking up
12 wins in the process and potting a 2.17 ERA. The big righty has lost
just once in his last 10 starts and has yet to face the Blue Jays this
season.

Romero has picked up just one win in his last three
outings and took the no-decision in his last start, coughing up three
earned runs on four hits over six innings as Toronto lost to the
Yankees 4-3 last week. The lefty has faced the Red Sox twice this
season, losing both contests and getting roughed up in the process. On
May 31 in Toronto, Romero allowed two homers, five runs and six hits in
four innings as the Sox won it 8-2. Last month, Romero took his fourth
loss of the season when Boston plated four runs on five hits in 4 1/3
against the rookie from Los Angeles.

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