What can they do for an encore?
After four moribund days at Fenway Park filled with rain, cold and poor baseball on the part of the Red Sox, they secured a dramatic 7-6 walk-off win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.
Darnell McDonald, who was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket just hours earlier, hit a game-tying two-run homer in the eighth and a wall-ball RBI single in the ninth. He was pummeled by his teammates in a raucous celebration, the first signs of life at Fenway since the opening series against the Yankees.
Boston will look to carry over the momentum when it hosts Texas again Wednesday night.
Josh Beckett is on the mound for the Sox, hoping to build off a dominant outing Friday against Tampa Bay.
WHEN AND WHERE
Rangers (5-8) vs. Red Sox (5-9)
Wednesday, April 21, 7 p.m. (NESN)
Fenway Park, Boston
HEAD TO HEAD
The Sox have won 10 of the last 12 games at Fenway against the Rangers.
LHP Matt Harrison (0-1, 1.38 ERA) vs. RHP Josh Beckett (1-0, 3.86 ERA)
Beckett has gotten a bit better in each of his three starts, the last one a gem against the Tampa Bay Rays that led to a no-decision.
In seven innings, Beckett yielded just one unearned run on four hits, striking out eight and walking one. The game was suspended by rain in the ninth and resulted in a 3-1 loss upon completion the following night.
Beckett is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his last two starts.
Harrison is one of a handful of Rangers starters off to surprisingly solid starts. After posting a 6.11 ERA in 11 starts last year, the lefty has yielded only two earned runs in 13 innings in 2010.
- Catcher Victor Martinez‘s RBI single in the first Tuesday snapped Boston’s 0-for-32 stretch without a hit with a man in scoring position.
- With 277 doubles in his Red Sox career, designated hitter David Ortiz needs two more to tie Nomar Garciaparra for ninth on the team’s all-time list.
- Tim Wakefield moved past Cy Young and into second place on the all-time Boston list for innings pitched. With 2,729 2/3 innings, Wakefield trails first-place Roger Clemens by 46 1/3 frames.
- Texas entered Tuesday with six stolen bases as a team. They equaled that total by the third inning and finished with a club record nine. It broke the mark of eight also set against the Sox last August, and goes down as the most ever by one team at Fenway Park.
- Right fielder Nelson Cruz set a career high with three steals.
- Left fielder Josh Hamilton is 1-for-18 in his last five games.
BLACK AND BLUE
- Left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to April 12) Tuesday with a left chest contusion. He will be eligible to return April 27. The move was made after Ellsbury took some swings in an effort to test the injury.
- Center fielder Mike Cameron was also placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a sports hernia. His term is retroactive to April 19.
- Daisuke Matsuzaka will throw his third rehab start Wednesday in Lehigh Valley. He is on the DL with a neck strain.
- Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was scheduled to catch five innings to begin his rehab assignment at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He is on the DL with an upper back strain.
- Second baseman Ian Kinsler is hoping to begin a rehab assignment within the week. He missed much of spring training and has yet to play this year due to a high ankle sprain.
All the talk in the Red Sox clubhouse was of the dramatic win perhaps being a launching pad. Being able to follow up the victory with Josh Beckett on the mound will certainly help build some momentum.
Despite the triumph, Boston still needs to figure out a few things, especially in attempting to limit the running game. Texas has stolen 29 straight bases on the Sox and its nine thefts Tuesday tied a 97-year-old record for a Boston opponent.