BOSTON — The Red Sox’s return home was a sweet one Tuesday night.
Mike Napoli and David Ortiz each went deep, and Wade Miley impressed again on the mound as Boston knocked off the Texas Rangers 4-3 at Fenway Park.
GAME IN A WORD
The much-maligned Miley now has strung together consecutive quality starts, allowing just two runs on seven hits Tuesday over his seven innings of work.
The right-hander’s ERA, which was a team-worst 6.91 just a week ago, now sits at 5.10.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Closer Koji Uehara recovered from a leadoff home run to finish off the Rangers in the ninth.
ON THE BUMP
— Wade Miley again resided squarely in the Danger Zone, putting runners in scoring position in each of the first four innings without allowing any to score.
The biggest scare came in the fourth, when four-time Gold Glove winner Dustin Pedroia dropped a potential inning-ending popup at second base. Pedroia’s rare error put runners on the corners, but Miley blew a fastball by Delino DeShields to retire the side and preserve the shutout.
After a rare 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, Texas finally got to Miley in the sixth. Kyle Blanks roped a one-out double down the left field line, and Thomas Field drove him in with a base hit two batters later to cut Boston’s lead to 4-1. Then, Robinson Chirinos tripled to the wall in right, scoring Field from second.
The Red Sox’s fielders did their pitcher no favors in that frame. Left fielder Hanley Ramirez’s relay to the plate on Field’s single was far too slow, and Daniel Nava did a poor job of tracking Chirinos’ high fly ball in right.
Miley’s final inning was much smoother. He retired the side in order in the seventh before giving way to Junichi Tazawa.
— Tazawa was perfect in his one inning of work, striking out two before inducing an inning ending groundout. Napoli made a nice play to snare the ball and prevent an extra-base hit.
— Uehara allowed two hits and a run in the ninth but was able to close out the Rangers for his 10th save of the season.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox got on the board quickly against Rangers starter Yovani Gallardo. Pedroia smacked a double off the Green Monster with one out in the first inning, and David Ortiz followed with a single through the shift to score Pedroia from second with the game’s first run.
Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval also singled in the frame to load the bases, but Gallardo escaped the jam by striking out Mike Napoli and getting Daniel Nava to ground out to short. Napoli and Nava entered the game hitting .162 and .160, respectively.
Gallardo needed 32 pitches to get through the inning.
— Napoli redeemed himself in the fourth, launching a leadoff homer off the signage above the Monster.
Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) May 20, 2015
That blast put the Red Sox ahead 2-0, and Ortiz lifted a solo shot of his own into the Boston bullpen an inning later to make it 3-0.
Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) May 20, 2015
— Also in that fifth inning, Ramirez doubled to right-center, making it in safely to second thanks to this seriously unorthodox slide:
GIF: Hanley Ramirez, slide master. http://t.co/jZkYC9YggG—
Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 20, 2015
Ramirez came up limping but remained in the game after being examined by team trainers. The Rangers also challenged the safe call, but it was upheld after video review.
Ramirez advanced to third on a Sandoval groundout and scored on an infield single by Napoli, stretching Boston’s lead to 4-0. It was the second RBI of the night for the first baseman, who’d driven in just one over the previous five games.
— Sandoval was hit in the knee by a Sam Hammond fastball in the seventh inning and forced to leave the game. Brock Holt came on as a pinch runner and played the final two innings at third base.
— Shane Victorino pinch-hit for Nava in the seventh and drew a walk. The Red Sox loaded the bases in the frame but could not score.
— Five different players recorded at least two hits for the Red Sox, with Ramirez leading the way with three. Nava (0-for-3) and Blake Swihart (0-for-4, two K’s) were the only Sox batters not to reach base.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Hanley Ramirez: baseball ninja.
Hanley's offseason sliding regimen. http://t.co/qf7t1wJd1B—
Ricky Doyle (@TheRickyDoyle) May 20, 2015
These teams are back at it again Tuesday night. Joe Kelly will get the nod for the Red Sox opposite recently recalled Rangers right-hander Phil Klein, who will be making his first major league start.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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