Red Sox-Rangers Live: John Lackey’s Strong Effort Guides Boston To 5-2 Win


John LackeyFinal, Red Sox 5-2: Koji Uehara shut down his former team in the ninth inning, and the Red Sox have taken two of three from the Rangers in Arlington.

John Lackey gave the Red Sox seven solid innings in Sunday’s series finale as Boston rolled to a 5-2 win. Lackey gave up two earned runs on seven hits while striking out nine. He didn’t walk anyone.

The Red Sox got all the offense they needed in the first inning. Boston struck for three runs on an RBI double from Mike Napoli and a two-run single from A.J. Pierzynski.

Shane Victorino added a run in the second inning on an RBI groundout, and Dustin Pedroia extended Boston’s lead even further with a solo homer in the seventh inning. Pedroia finished with two hits.

The Red Sox were nearly no-hit by Yu Darvish in Friday’s series opener, but they bounced back to record two straight victories. The Sox will enjoy an off day Monday before starting a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday in Minnesota.

Mid 9th, Red Sox 5-2: Xander Bogaerts snapped an 0-for-15 skid in the ninth inning with an infield single.

Bogaerts has endured some growing pains recently, both offensively and defensively, so it’s encouraging to see him at least get on base as he looks to overcome his current rut.

The Red Sox couldn’t do anything with Bogaerts’ infield knock. Neal Cotts retired Jackie Bradley Jr. and Jonathan Herrera before giving way to Alexi Ogando, who got Dustin Pedroia to hit a comebacker.

Koji Uehara will look to close out Texas in the ninth inning.

End 8th, Red Sox 5-2: Andrew Miller completed a scoreless eighth inning despite hitting Elvis Andrus with one out.

Miller jumped ahead of Andrus 1-2, but an inside fastball got away from the left-hander and drilled Andrus on the arm.

Miller, who struck out Shin-Soo Choo to begin the inning, fanned Adrian Beltre and retired Prince Fielder on a high fly ball to center field. Beltre chased a nasty slider located down and away.

The book obviously is closed on Red Sox starter John Lackey. Lackey allowed two runs on seven hits over seven innings of work. He struck out nine, didn’t walk anyone and threw 105 pitches (75 strikes).

Mid 8th, Red Sox 5-2: David Ortiz led off the eighth inning with a single into right field.

Jason Frasor responded by striking out Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes swinging before giving way to Neal Cotts.

Cotts faced A.J. Pierzynski, who collected a two-run single as part of Boston’s three-run first inning. Pierzynski flied out to right field.

Andrew Miller will pitch the eighth inning for Boston after seven solid innings from John Lackey.

End 7th, Red Sox 5-2: John Lackey was forced to work in the seventh inning, but he ultimately put the finishing touches on another strong performance.

Alex Rios singled into center field with one out in the seventh and moved up to second base on a pitch down. Rios has swiped two bases in this game, giving him seven thefts on the season.

Mitch Moreland knocked in Rios with a fly ball down the left field line. Jonny Gomes laid out near the chalk but came up way short. The ball rolled into the corner, and Moreland cruised into second base with a double as Rios crossed with Texas’ second run.

J.P. Arencibia reached on a ground ball to short that Xander Bogaerts couldn’t handle cleanly. It went as a hit, but it’s a play Bogaerts should have made. Lackey was visibly frustrated.

Lackey struck out Leonys Martin and Rougned Odor to end the inning and likely his afternoon.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 5-1: The ball certainly is carrying to left-center field in Arlington.

Shin-Shoo Choo sent one sailing over the fence in the fourth inning, and Dustin Pedroia took aim at the wall in the seventh inning.

Pedroia hit a line drive that just cleared the wall for his second home run of the season. It looked off the bat like it might be a gapper, but the ball traveled well and left the yard with two outs.

Pedroia’s solo blast marked the end of Robbie Ross Jr.’s afternoon. He was replaced by Jason Frasor, who retired Shane Victorino to end the inning.

End 6th, Red Sox 4-1: Mike Napoli made yet another solid defensive play to end the sixth inning.

Adrian Beltre hit a foul popup toward the seats along the first base line with two outs. Napoli ranged over and began to run out of room, but the slick-fielding first baseman reached over into the stands to make a very nice grab.

Napoli had to battle the seats, the fans and the sun while making the inning-ending catch. He appeared to bang his leg into the wall and needed a few seconds to walk things off after making the impressive snag.

Shin-Soo Choo struck out swinging and Elvis Andrus flied out into the right field corner to begin the bottom of the sixth.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 4-1: Both pitchers have found rhythms.

Robbie Ross Jr. worked a 1-2-3 sixth inning. He retired Jonny Gomes, A.J. Pierzynski and Xander Bogaerts in order.

Gomes grounded to short, Pierzynski flied to left and Bogaerts grounded to third.

End 5th, Red Sox 4-1: The Rangers finally got to John Lackey in the fourth inning, but the right-hander settled right back down in the fifth.

Lackey struck out J.P. Arencibia swinging, and then retired Leonys Martin and Rougned Odor on a flyout and groundout, respectively.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 4-1: Robbie Ross Jr. has settled in after a rough start to the game.

Shane Victorino reached on a bad, bad error by Prince Fielder in the fifth inning. Adrian Beltre made a routine play at third base and fired across the diamond to Fielder, who simply dropped the throw.

Ross made sure the miscue didn’t hurt him by getting David Ortiz to ground into a 5-4-3 double play. Fielder fielded that throw cleanly.

Mike Napoli struck out looking to end the inning.

End 4th, Red Sox 4-1: Shin-Soo Choo put the Rangers on the scoreboard in the fourth inning. He hammered his fourth home run of the season.

Choo jumped on a 1-0 cutter from John Lackey and sent it sailing into the Red Sox’s bullpen in left-center field. The ball can really travel on warm days in Texas, and that was evident on Choo’s blast.

Lackey handled Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre before the Rangers began threatening for more with two down. Prince Fielder singled into center field, and Alex Rios sent Fielder from first to third with a single into right-center.

Rios swiped second base with Mitch Moreland at the dish, putting two runners in scoring position with two down. Moreland couldn’t cash in, though, as he struck out to end the inning.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 4-0: Robbie Ross Jr. needed just eight pitches to breeze through the fourth inning. He now has recorded back-to-back scoreless frames after getting pounded up against the ropes early.

Rougned Odor made an excellent play in the fourth inning to take a hit away from Jackie Bradley Jr.

Jonathan Herrera grounded back to the mound. Dustin Pedroia flied out to right field.

End 3rd, Red Sox 4-0: John Lackey continues to roll.

Lackey retired the Rangers in short order in the third. J.P. Arencibia, Leonys Martin and Rougned Odor went down without a peep.

Arencibia, who has been especially brutal against right-handed pitching this season, struck out looking on four pitches.

Mid 3rd, Red Sox 4-0: Robbie Ross Jr. finally settled down in the third inning.

Jonny Gomes singled with one out, but Ross managed to keep Boston off the scoreboard for the first time.

A.J. Pierzynski and Xander Bogaerts flied out to left field and center field, respectively, following Gomes’ one-out single. Shin-Soo Choo made a nice sliding grab in shallow left to rob Pierzynski of a hit.

End 2nd, Red Sox 4-0: John Lackey is off to a good start.

Lackey struck out two in a scoreless second inning. Alex Rios went down looking, and Mitch Moreland foul tipped a pitch into A.J. Pierzynski’s mitt.

Lackey has three K’s thus far and looks sharp early on.

Mid 2nd, Red Sox 4-0: The Red Sox pushed across another run in the second inning.

Jackie Bradley Jr., who produced two hits Saturday, doubled in his first at-bat of this game.

Jonathan Herrera, who was plugged into Boston’s starting lineup when Will Middlebrooks was scratched, dropped down a sacrifice bunt that moved Bradley to third base.

After Dustin Pedroia walked, Shane Victorino hit a ground ball to third that the Rangers looked to turn into a double play. Victorino beat Rougned Odor’s throw to first base, though, and Bradley crossed the plate with Boston’s fourth run.

Victorino has four RBIs over the last two games. This actually marks the first time all season the Red Sox have scored in both the first and second innings of a game.

End 1st, Red Sox 3-0: John Lackey yielded a one-out single in the first inning. No biggie.

Lackey, who struck out Shin-Soo Choo to begin his outing, rebounded from Elvis Andrus’ one-out hit to induce a 6-4-3, inning-ending double play.

Nice start to Lackey’s afternoon.

Mid 1st, Red Sox 3-0: The Red Sox wasted no time in jumping on Robbie Ross Jr.

Dustin Pedroia got things going with a double into the left-center field gap. It was Pedroia’s 14th double of the season, putting the second baseman on a 61-double pace.

Shane Victorino, who collected three hits and four RBIs in Saturday’s win, dropped down a bunt. Adrian Beltre made the play to retire Victorino at first base while Pedroia took third.

In the ultimate show of respect, Rangers manager Ron Washington opted to intentionally walk David Ortiz with first base open in the first inning. The move backfired.

Mike Napoli gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead with a one-out double over Alex Rios’ head in right field. A.J. Pierzynski then plated both Ortiz and Napoli with a two-out, two-run single.

3:11 p.m.: Dustin Pedroia digs in to begin the Mother’s Day showdown in Arlington.

2:50 p.m.: Before things get underway, I’d like to wish a happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there — especially my mom, who clearly did one hell of a job.

There will be plenty of pink around MLB ballparks Sunday. The league is using baseballs with pink laces, and teams certainly will use pink wristbands, cleats and, in some cases, bats.

2:27 p.m.: Will Middlebrooks has been scratched from the Red Sox’s lineup. Jonathan Herrera will play third base.

Middlebrooks has been scratched for “precautionary reasons” due to soreness in his right hand, according to the Red Sox.

Middlebrooks was hit on the hand by a pitch in the eighth inning of Saturday’s game. He checked out OK and stayed in the game, but the Red Sox clearly are being cautious with Middlebrooks, whose rookie season in 2012 was derailed by a broken right wrist.

The updated Red Sox lineup is below.

Boston Red Sox (18-18)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Shane Victorino, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Jonathan Herrera, 3B

John Lackey, RHP

1:10 p.m.: Jonny Gomes will get his second straight start as the Rangers turn to another left-hander in Robbie Ross Jr. Lefty Martin Perez started Saturday’s game, and he had trouble commanding the strike zone as Boston knocked him around early and often.

Sunday’s complete lineups are below.

Boston Red Sox (18-18)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Shane Victorino, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

John Lackey, RHP (4-2, 3.72 ERA)

Texas Rangers (19-18)
Shin-Soo Choo LF
Elvis Andrus, SS
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Prince Fielder, 1B
Alex Rios, RF
Mitch Moreland, DH
J.P. Arencibia, C
Leonys Martin, CF
Rougned Odor, 2B

Robbie Ross, LHP (1-3, 4.74 ERA)

1 p.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers will celebrate Mother’s Day with one more clash at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

John Lackey and Robbie Ross Jr. will toe the rubber for their respective clubs Sunday as the Red Sox and Rangers play the rubber match of a three-game series. Yu Darvish nearly tossed a no-hitter as the Rangers took Friday’s series opener 8-0, and Jon Lester responded with a workmanlike effort in Saturday’s middle game as the Red Sox rebounded for an 8-3 win.

Lackey, who spent much of his career with the Angels, has plenty of experience against the Rangers, as this will mark his 40th career appearance against Texas. The veteran right-hander hasn’t had much success in those surplus of appearances, though, as he enters Sunday’s contest with a 13-15 record and 5.81 ERA in his career against the Rangers. Lackey is 7-7 with a 6.61 ERA career all-time at Globe Life Park, where he’s made 19 appearances — the most he’s made anywhere outside of Fenway Park and Angel Stadium.

Ross enters on the heels of back-to-back poor outings. The 24-year-old southpaw allowed 10 runs (six earned) on 11 hits over 3 1/3 innings against the Oakland Athletics on April 30, and then surrendered six earned runs on 12 hits over 5 1/3 innings against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday.

Sunday’s first pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with

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