End 9th, Red Sox 8-3: Burke Badenhop and Andrew Miller combined for a scoreless ninth inning, and the Red Sox rebound from Friday’s series-opening loss to earn an 8-3 win in Arlington.
The Red Sox’s offense didn’t collect its first hit until there were two outs in the ninth inning Friday. The unit was far more productive Saturday, producing eight runs on 11 hits.
Shane Victorino led Boston’s offensive attack with three hits and four RBIs. Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. each collected two hits. Ortiz homered, and Jonny Gomes knocked in two runs as part of the Red Sox’s four-run fourth inning.
Jon Lester tossed seven solid innings to earn the win. The left-hander gave up three runs on four hits while striking out eight and walking three. He threw 103 pitches (65 strikes) while lowering his ERA to 2.75.
Rangers starter Martin Perez couldn’t feed off Yu Darvish’s near-no-hitter. Perez was knocked from the game in the fourth inning, giving up six earned runs on nine hits and four walks over 3 2/3 innings.
The Red Sox and Rangers will square off one more time Sunday. John Lackey and Robbie Ross Jr. will battle in the series finale, which is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. ET.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 8-3: Justin Germano worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning after laboring through the eighth.
Jonny Gomes popped out. Xander Bogaerts and David Ross both struck out swinging.
Burke Badenhop will look to record the final three outs for Boston.
End 8th, Red Sox 8-3: Rangers manager Ron Washington challenged a call in the eighth inning. The call was upheld, resulting in a double play for Boston.
Elvis Andrus, who has been swinging the bat well, connected on a single into right field. Adrian Beltre then hit a high chopper that Junichi Tazawa fielded and fired to second base to begin a double play.
Washington challenged that Beltre beat Dustin Pedroia’s relay throw at first base. It was a bang-bang play, but the umpires upheld the initial call, as there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn it.
Prince Fielder struck out swinging to end the inning.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 8-3: The Red Sox gained some breathing room in the eighth inning.
Justin Germano, who spent time with Boston in 2012, plunked Will Middlebrooks on the hand with one out. It’s always concerning when Middlebrooks gets hit in the hand/wrist area, but the third baseman was OK after being examined by the trainer.
Jackie Bradley Jr. singled to put runners at first and second for Dustin Pedroia, who made it 7-3 with a single into left field. Middlebrooks scored from second base, and Bradley slid safely into third base. Choo’s throw to third actually hit Bradley in the helmet and bounced away, enabling Pedroia to take second.
Shane Victorino drove in his fourth run of the game with a fly ball to left field. Bradley trotted home on Victorino’s sacrifice fly.
Junichi Tazawa will pitch the eighth inning for Boston after seven solid innings from Jon Lester.
Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux was ejected in the eighth inning after Middlebrooks got hit on the hand. It’s unclear what exactly he was arguing, but Maddux eventually came out of the dugout after being tossed by first base umpire Vic Carapazza.
End 7th, Red Sox 6-3: Both Andrew Miller and Junichi Tazawa were warming up in the Red Sox’s bullpen in the seventh inning. Jon Lester made sure neither pitcher was required.
Lester overcame a leadoff walk to keep the Rangers from chipping away anymore at the Red Sox’s lead.
Dustin Pedroia made a very nice play for the first out. Ho-hum, right? The ball exploded up the middle, but Pedroia picked it with a diving snag.
Luis Sardinas popped out to Mike Napoli in foul territory for the second out.
Lester capped the inning — and likely his outing — by striking out Shin-Soo Choo for the third time.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 6-3: Aaron Poreda kept the Red Sox’s offense at bay in the seventh inning.
Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes and Xander Bogaerts couldn’t get anything going against Poreda. The Red Sox’s bats have cooled since striking for four runs in the fourth inning.
Napoli grounded to third base. Gomes and Bogaerts struck out looking and swinging, respectively.
Jon Lester will come back out to begin the bottom of the seventh.
End 6th, Red Sox 6-3: Jon Lester rebounded for a strong sixth inning after surrendering three runs over the last two frames.
Prince Fielder, Alex Rios and Michael Choice went down in order.
Dustin Pedroia made a nice little leaping catch to end the inning.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 6-3: The Red Sox’s baserunning woes continue.
Dustin Pedroia was thrown out at second base on a failed hit-and-run attempt in the sixth inning. Shane Victorino did what he could to make contact, but the pitch was too far out of the strike zone, and catcher Robinson Chirinos had no problem tossing out Pedroia at second base.
The Red Sox now have been caught on 50 percent of their stolen-base attempts this season (11 of 22).
Victorino ended up flying out to left field. David Ortiz grounded to short for the third out.
End 5th, Red Sox 6-3: The Rangers continued to chip away in the fifth inning.
Jon Lester struck out the side in the fifth, but he also scattered a couple of hits on which the Rangers scored their third run.
Luis Sardinas followed Robinson Chirinos’ inning-opening strikeout with a single into right field.
Elvis Andrus, who had a big game Friday, plated Sardinas with a two-out double toward the left-center field gap. Jackie Bradley Jr. eventually cut the ball off before it reached the wall, but it rolled far enough into the gap that Sardinas had no problem scoring.
Lester struck out Adrian Beltre looking to end the inning.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 6-2: Shawn Tolleson, who replaced Martin Perez in the fourth inning, worked a 1-2-3 fifth.
David Ross struck out swinging to begin the fifth. Will Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley Jr. both grounded out to short.
Jon Lester now will look to settle back down.
End 4th, Red Sox 6-2: There won’t be any no-hitter drama in this game.
Shin-Soo Choo opened the bottom of the fourth inning with a double over the head of Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field. Jon Lester had retired the first nine hitters he faced.
Elvis Andrus grounded out to second base — which enabled Choo to take third base — and Adrian Beltre walked. Prince Fielder knocked in Texas’ first run with a fly ball to left field that Choo was able to tag up and score on.
Alex Rios drilled a line drive toward the right-center field gap with two outs. Bradley took a weird route to the ball, and it ended up soaring by him. Beltre scored from first base with Texas’ second run as Rios motored into third base with a triple.
Lester walked Michael Choice before striking out Leonys Martin to end the inning.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 6-0: Shane Victorino is having a big night. The Flyin’ Hawaiian is 3-for-3 with three singles and three RBIs — and it’s the fourth inning.
Victorino took advantage of the Rangers’ infield playing in during the fourth inning. He dropped a blooper into right-center field that scored both Jackie Bradley Jr. and Dustin Pedroia.
Bradley started the inning with a single into right field, and he went from first to third when Pedroia drilled a line drive into center. It was an excellent read by Bradley, and Leonys Martin’s throw to third base also allowed Pedroia to advance into scoring position at second base.
David Ortiz, who homered in the third inning, followed Victorino’s two-run single with a one-out double. Jonny Gomes, batting with runners at second and third, dropped a two-out, two-run single into left field to make it 6-0.
Shawn Tolleson replaced Martin Perez at that point and retired Xander Bogaerts to finally end the inning.
End 3rd, Red Sox 2-0: It’s been 27 outs since Jon Lester has surrendered a hit.
Lester sped through a perfect third inning. He retired Leonys Martin, Robinson Chirinos and Luis Sardinas in order.
Martin and Chirinos both grounded to shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Sardinas hit a soft line drive to the right side that Dustin Pedroia caught after timing his jump perfectly.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 2-0: If you’re going to mislocate a pitch against David Ortiz, middle-in is not where you want to miss.
Ortiz jumped all over a mislocated fastball from Martin Perez in the third inning. Papi sent it sailing over the right field fence for his seventh home run of 2014.
Perez also walked Mike Napoli for the second time in the third inning before finally closing off the frame. The Rangers lefty is struggling mightily with his control in the early going.
End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: It looks like Jon Lester is carrying the momentum he generated in his last start into this outing.
Lester struck out two while working a 1-2-3 second inning. Alex Rios and Michael Choice both went down looking at cutters.
Prince Fielder flied out to left field for the first out.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox’s offense clearly had no intention of being blanked again.
The Sox used their trademark patient approach against Martin Perez in the second inning en route to grabbing a 1-0 lead.
The inning actually started off in unflattering fashion for Boston. David Ross worked a one-out walk but was thrown out trying to steal second base. It’s possible Ross missed a sign, although even a hit-and-run would have been a somewhat curious call with Will Middlebrooks batting.
In any event, Middlebrooks got things going again with a two-out single into right field. Jackie Bradley Jr. then got plunked on the elbow, and Dustin Pedroia walked to load the bases.
Shane Victorino, who singled into center field in his first at-bat, decided to do the same in his second at-bat. Victorino’s RBI knock plated Boston’s first run, although Bradley was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base.
End 1st, 0-0: Jon Lester started his night off with a 1-2-3 first inning.
Lester struck out Shin-Soo Choo to open his outing. Choo assembled a very impressive 10-pitch at-bat in which he fouled off a number of offerings before Lester finally put him away with a cutter that caught the top of the strike zone.
Elvis Andrus decided to test Lester defensively — actually not a bad move considering Lester’s struggles in that department — with a bunt. Lester handled the bunt cleanly and tossed an accurate throw to first base to record the second out.
Adrian Beltre ended the inning with a fly ball that Jonny Gomes tracked down in left field. Gomes slid across the outfield grass upon making the outstretched grab.
Mid 1st, 0-0: It took the Red Sox’s offense 26 outs to produce a hit against Yu Darvish in Friday’s series opener. It took the unit just one out to connect for a hit against Martin Perez.
Shane Victorino followed Dustin Pedroia’s slowly hit groundout up the first base line with a line-drive single into center field.
David Ortiz, who broke up Darvish’s no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning Friday, flied out to center field in his first at-bat against Perez.
Mike Napoli extended his career-high on-base streak to 30 games with a seven-pitch walk. He now has reached base safely in 32 of his 33 games with a plate appearance this season.
Jonny Gomes threatened to shoot the left-center field gap with two outs, but center fielder Leonys Martin ranged over to make the catch. The Sox stranded a pair, which stinks for Boston but also is rather encouraging when you consider it took the club until the seventh inning to generate a baserunner Friday.
7:09 p.m.: Martin Perez starts off Dustin Pedroia with a first-pitch strike.
6:20 p.m.: Jonny Gomes will return to the Red Sox’s lineup Saturday as the Rangers trot out left-hander Martin Perez. Gomes will play left field and bat fifth.
David Ross will get the start behind the dish with Jon Lester on the mound. Ross’ insertion into the lineup makes sense given that the Red Sox are facing a left-handed starter, but it’s become abundantly clear recently that Lester and Ross really are on the same page working as a battery.
Saturday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (17-18)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Shane Victorino, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ross, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Jon Lester, LHP (3-4, 2.59 ERA)
Texas Rangers (19-17)
Shin-Soo Choo, LF
Elvis Andrus, SS
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Prince Fielder, 1B
Alex Rios, RF
Michael Choice, DH
Leonys Martin, CF
Robinson Chirinos, C
Luis Sardinas, 2B
Martin Perez, LHP (4-2, 3.59)
5:45 p.m. ET: The Texas Rangers received an incredible performance from their ace in Friday’s series opener at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Boston Red Sox hope their ace has something similar up his sleeve.
Yu Darvish fell just short of tossing a no-hitter Friday, as David Ortiz broke up the right-hander’s no-hit bid with two outs in the ninth inning. The Rangers still cruised to an 8-0 victory, though, so it’ll be even more important for Jon Lester to step up Saturday as the Red Sox look to get back to .500.
Lester was nearly unhittable himself the last time he took the mound. The left-hander allowed just one hit over eight shutout innings against the Oakland Athletics last Saturday at Fenway Park. He struck out a career-high 15 hitters in that contest, which was hands-down one of the Red Sox’s best-pitched games in years.
In fact, Darvish joined Lester on Friday in becoming the only pitchers in the majors this season to allow one or fewer hits and strike out at least 12. Darvish struck out 12 in his near-no-hitter.
Lester will face Martin Perez on Saturday as the Red Sox’s offense looks to rebound from being blanked in the series opener. Perez’s first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. Tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com’s live blog.
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