Final, Red Sox 12-7: The Rangers won this game 7-4 if you don't include the fourth inning. But you do, so this one's over after Franklin Morales shrugs off a very long leadoff homer by Esteban German to finish this one off.
The last out came on a pickoff of Josh Hamilton. Not really sure where he was going.
The Red Sox will get a chance to win the series and finish .500 on the homestand when these two teams go at it again Sunday afternoon.
It will be Matt Harrison against John Lackey in a 1:35 p.m. start on NESN. Be there.
End 8th, Red Sox 12-6: Scary moment in the eighth (especially for a team with a revolving door in right field) when Josh Reddick is hit on the hand/wrist and is in some pain.
Reddick was able to stay in the game and take his base. He was quickly erased on a line-drive double play to shortstop.
Reddick does not emerge to play the ninth, however. Marco Scutaro goes in at shortstop with Mike Aviles moving to right field.
Franklin Morales will try to get the last three outs.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 12-6: Franklin Morales gets his man and we should be able to get through the remainder of this one without any serious drama. I think.
Darren Oliver, now 68, will take over for Texas.
7:35 p.m.: The first four pitches Dan Wheeler threw in the eighth resulted in singles, and two runs.
The sixth was a sacrifice fly. Wheeler managed to get the second out on a strikeout of Matt Treanor, but the Rangers have cut the deficit to 12-6.
Franklin Morales is coming in from the bullpen to face David Murphy. Adrian Beltre is on second. There are two outs.
End 7th, Red Sox 12-3: Moments after a fan made it from the third-base line to within three feet of the Red Sox bullpen before being tackled by security, Mike Aviles doubled.
That left the 6-9 hitters in the Red Sox lineup 12-for-17. Carl Crawford had to go on and ruin things by striking out, but 12-for-18 (two home runs, eight RBIs, seven runs scored) ain't too shabby.
Dan Wheeler will pitch the eighth.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 12-3: You may start to see some early swings by Rangers hitters. They worked the count some in the seventh, but once people remind them that there's college football to watch, it'll be time to go home.
Dan Wheeler threw a perfect seventh that was capped by a routine grounder to Mike Aviles.
Aviles has been a nice addition at the plate, and he plays a steady, sometimes pretty flashy, shortstop.
With Jed Lowrie potentially sidelined again, get ready to see more of Aviles.
End 6th, Red Sox 12-3: The rout is on, and here comes the bench brigade.
A double for Carl Crawford, a single for Josh Reddick (first four-hit game of his career) and a walk to Jacoby Ellsbury loaded the bases for Dustin Pedroia.
Pedroia made a bid for the team's second grand slam of the day, but his drive to center hit off the wall.
All three runners came in on Pedroia's 200th career double.
Dan Wheeler is in for Erik Bedard. Conor Jackson is playing first to give Adrian Gonzalez a blow.
Erik Bedard's line: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 K. Most importantly, he'll have a W to go alongside that pretty soon.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 9-3: It's looking more and more like Erik Bedard will have his first win in a Red Sox uniform.
Bedard issues a two-out walk in the sixth, his fourth free pass of the game. However, he also struck out a pair and now has six of those, matching his high with Boston.
Bedard actually hasn't won a game since June 15 with Seattle, a span of eight starts. It looks like he is done. Dan Wheeler is warming up and Bedard received some handshakes after his 102nd pitch.
End 5th, Red Sox 9-3: Mark Hamburger used a little extra mustard to put away Adrian Gonzalez, beginning a 1-2-3 inning for the Rangers righty.
Kevin Youkilis lined a meatball to Adrian Beltre to third. David Ortiz failed to ketchup with a 95 mph fastball, bouncing it weakly to short.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 9-3: One might have wondered how sitting through a long inning might affect Erik Bedard. The answer? Not much.
Bedard struck out Ian Kinsler and Erik Bedard to begin the fifth. Josh Hamilton took him to the deepest part of the park, but Jacoby Ellsbury resides out there.
Mark Hamburger is on to pitch for the Rangers, and jokes are flying all around the press box. Again, that's Hamburger on the hill.
End 4th, Red Sox 9-3: OK, let's recap. Single, home run, fly out, single, walk, fly out, walk, single, home run, single, single, single, ground out. There was also a passed ball and a wild pitch in the mess, which was capped by Jacoby Ellsbury's run-scoring infield hit.
Josh Reddick and Jarrod Saltalamacchia both were 2-for-2. Saltalamacchia had the two-run homer to start the scoring and later recorded his first stolen base in 337 career games (there was no throw).
In case you are wondering, the eight-run inning is not the team's largest this year. They plated 10 against the Padres back in June.
6:07 p.m.: Throwing a bunch of weak frisbees up there, as Yoshinori Tateyama did, isn't going to get it done against this offense. Holy crap was he awful.
Tateyama issued two intentional walks, but both came because a passed ball and a wild pitch had opened up first base.
The result of all that was a bases-loaded situation for Mike Aviles, who hit for Jed Lowrie (left shoulder tightness — not good).
Aviles singled in a run on a 3-1 pitch and Carl Crawford followed with a grand slam beyond the Red Sox bullpen. Just. Like. That. It's an 8-3 game and Merkin Valdez is on to face Josh Reddick.
Oh, and they're doing the wave!!!
5:50 p.m.: We noted earlier the little swoon for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Every time a catcher, especially a young one who has never played a full season, goes through a stretch like that late in the season, some people will wonder if the wall has been hit.
Saltalamacchia has kept those critics at bay for the time being with a long two-run homer to right here in the fourth.
It is Salty's 14th of the season, his 10th against right-handed pitching.
One out later, Dustin Pedroia singled. That was enough for Ron Washington. He goes and gets Colby Lewis, who had many of his 89 pitches struck with authority.
Yoshinori Tateyama is on in relief. Hopefully not for long because it takes me 35 seconds to type his name correctly.
Mid 4th, Rangers 3-1: Erik Bedard was saved by a double play started by Adrian Gonzalez in the first, and was again in the fourth, this time on a squeeze play.
Yorvit Torrealba led off with a double and moved to third with one out. Craig Gentry tried the squeeze once and fouled it off. Two pitches later he went for it again, but Gonzalez was on it in an instant, catching a little pop off Gentry's bat and then tagging Torrealba.
Not every single day you see a first baseman get two unassisted double plays in four innings. If not for those two plays, Bedard would be on the ropes.
End 3rd, Rangers 3-1: I spent some of the bottom of the third looking back through the Red Sox-Rangers matchups, just to determine how rare close games have been between these teams.
It's pretty astounding. There has not been a save recorded in their last nine matchups.
I did this research because of the fact that it was 3-0 and Erik Bedard had the look of a guy who might have some more rocky frames. But a Red Sox rally in the bottom half has made it a tad tighter.
Adrian Gonzalez singled with one out (now 6-for-7 with a walk off Colby Lewis), David Ortiz did so with two outs and Jed Lowrie followed with an RBI base hit up the middle.
It's up to Bedard to have a shutdown inning, but I'm not sensing many from him today.
Mid 3rd, Rangers 3-0: That was like a slow bleed.
Erik Bedard walked the leadoff man for the second straight inning, then walked the next man, Elvis Andrus, who is now 3-for-3 with three walks in the series.
After a strikeout of Josh Hamilton that saw the MVP throw his bat some 20 rows deep behind the Red Sox on-deck circle, Bedard allowed an RBI single to Michael Young.
Andrus went to third on the hit and then scored on Adrian Beltre's slow roller to third.
Bedard finally escaped on a liner to left. He has walked three in the game and seven in his last seven innings.
End 2nd, Rangers 1-0: This game is not lacking for base runners.
Eight of the first 16 men to come to the plate reached base after Josh Reddick doubled into the stands in right with one out in the second.
Colby Lewis worked around it by striking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia and getting Jacoby Ellsbury on a liner to right. Nice job by David Murphy to make the grab staring straight into that late-afternoon Fenway sun.
Mid 2nd, Rangers 1-0: When you come into a series with the Rangers you don't immediately look at Elvis Andrus and David Murphy as the guys you really need to fear.
Both are fine players. That's nothing against them. They just aren't imposing offensive threats.
In this series they are.
Together, Andrus and Murphy are 8-for-9 in the set with two home runs, two walks, six runs scored and now four RBIs after Murphy singled in a run in the second.
Adrian Beltre began the inning by drawing a walk off Erik Bedard. He moved to second on a chopper to Kevin Youkilis. One out later, Murphy knocked one back up the middle.
End 1st, 0-0: We have played one full inning, and already both teams have seen an inning end with multiple men on base on a line drive.
Three walks (to Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz) filled the bases full of Red Sox for Jed Lowrie. On a 1-1 offering, Lowrie smacked one right at second baseman Ian Kinsler, who squeezed it for the final out.
Boston has scored two runs in its last 19 innings, both coming on a Dustin Pedroia home run two games ago. It has not scored in 15 straight frames.
Mid 1st, 0-0: For whatever reason, Erik Bedard has had some issues in the first inning while with the Red Sox. Nothing severe, but it just takes a little to get him going. Almost all of it has been as a result of early wildness.
He was rather fortunate to avoid any major trouble in the first.
After retiring Ian Kinsler, Bedard gave up singles to Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton. With runners on the corners, Michael Young ripped one that was ticketed for right field, and with the trajectory (already beginning to curve toward the line) and spin it may have gotten down the line.
But the ball was just to the right of Adrian Gonzalez, who snagged the liner and doubled off Hamilton with ease.
By the way, Andrus has yet to be retired in this series. He is 3-for-3 with a home run, two singles and a walk.
4:12 p.m.: Erik Bedard's first pitch to Ian Kinsler is a ball. Another perfect day for a game. Kind of. Too humid for northerners like myself.
3:04 p.m.: OK, here are all the links you need to get caught up on everything that's going on here today.
First off, the explanation for why Marco Scutaro is out of the lineup again, and what goes into those decisions in general.
We may not see Matt Albers today, but we will at some point. Terry Francona feels Albers still has something to offer.
Also, we have a quick take on how the Red Sox have struggled at home in the last two seasons, at least relative to prior years in which they had winning clubs.
1:39 p.m.: The word on Marco Scutaro is that he is just "a little beat up," according to Terry Francona, who wanted to give Scutaro one more day to make it a more meaningful time off.
With Kevin Youkilis back, Francona can do that, moving Jed Lowrie to shortstop.
Also, Lowrie is 2-for-3 against Colby Lewis. Scutaro is 1-for-14. When weighing the decision, that was a factor, Francona said.
Scutaro should be back Sunday, although that's against a lefty, which is when Lowrie often gets in there. We'll see.
We will have stories on Matt Albers, on the Red Sox' recent issues at home and on the work that goes into deciding when to give players a day off. All those will be on the site later on. For now, here is the Rangers lineup:
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Elvis Andrus, SS
Josh Hamilton, LF
Michael Young, 1B
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Mike Napoli, DH
Yorvit Torrealba, C
David Murphy, RF
Craig Gentry, CF
The top third of the order is 15-for-52 (.288) against Erik Bedard. The last six are 17-for-89 (.191).
12:11 p.m.: Greetings from Fenway Park, where it seems as if the Red Sox are caught in one of those modes where they get one guy back and lose another.
On the day Kevin Youkilis returns, Carl Crawford falls ill. Crawford is back in the lineup Saturday, but it is the second straight day that sees no Marco Scutaro, so we begin to wonder if something is ailing him again, perhaps the back.
Jed Lowrie, who did not have the best of nights at shortstop on Friday, is back in there. Here is the lineup:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Jed Lowrie, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Josh Reddick, RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
8 a.m. ET: Erik Bedard will try once more to pick up his first win in a Red Sox uniform when he leads them into battle with the Texas Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
Bedard is 0-2 in five starts since coming to Boston despite producing a solid 3.46 ERA. He spun four scoreless innings against Oakland a week ago before the onset of a rain delay ended his outing. Prior to that, the lefty allowed four runs in six innings in a loss to the Rangers in Arlington.
Texas sends Colby Lewis to the mound. He was reached for seven runs in six innings against the Sox on Aug. 23.
The Rangers cruised to a 10-0 win in the series opener Friday. Coupled with a victory by the New York Yankees, the result dropped Boston back into second place in the American League East.
The Red Sox have lost six of their last nine games at home.
Bedard’s first pitch is expected around 4:10 p.m.
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