Red Sox 11, Rangers 5
The Red Sox have finally defeated the Rangers, and they did so in convincing fashion.
The scoring started early, and continued consistently for the first four innings. In the first, it was Jacoby Ellsbury singling in his first at bat back from injury, and then scoring as Adrian Gonzalez finally got off of his homer schneid with a no-doubter into the stands in right to give Boston a 2-0 lead. The attack continued in the second with Jed Lowrie and Carl Crawford leading off with singles and scoring on a Jarrod Satlalamacchia double and a sac fly from Marco Scutaro, and rolled right along into the third when Carl Crawford paid the sac fly forward and Ryan Lavarnway hit an RBI double to score another, making it 6-0.
The Rangers finally mounted a rally in the bottom of the third, picking up three straight ground ball singles to start the frame, and then having three runs come in on a walk and two sacrifice flies. But just when it seemed like momentum was shifting with the Rangers recording two quick outs in the top of the fourth, Adrian Gonzalez went deep for the second time on the night, this time going opposite field to extend the lead back up to four.
The Rangers would pull back within three in the bottom of the fifth, but couldn't score again over the next two innings, leaving the Sox free to put things away in the eighth. Ryan Lavarnway singled, Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled, and then with two outs both came home on a double from Marco Scutaro that just missed being a homer by inches. The Rangers decided not to pitch to Adrian Gonzalez, giving him the free pass, but that proved to not be terribly helpful when Dustin Pedroia planted a ball off the wall just below where Marco Scutaro's had hit, bringing both runners around to push it deep into blowout territory at 11-4. The Rangers got just one run back in the ninth on Ian Kinsler's homer, and the Sox finally picked up a win over Texas.
It was every bit what the Sox needed from their offense after C.J. Wilson had shut them down the night before. Baserunner after baserunner, run after run, and long hit after long hit. The invincible aura of Texas has been dispelled now, and hopefully they'll be able to take advantage of that in the last two games of the series.
Three For The Road
Adrian Turns The Power On
It had been over 20 games since Adrian Gonzalez last went deep for the Red Sox, but it's been the case all year long that his homers have come in bunches. Given that he went deep twice tonight, it's not difficult to imagine that there might be more coming in the future.
Unfortunately, Alfredo Aceves pitched tonight in an 11-4 game. Given the recent struggles of Matt Albers, the Sox have some serious questions to answer about the seventh inning, and right now about the only reliable member of the pen free for that inning would be Alfredo Aceves. While he's served the Sox quite well as a long man this season, it might be time to only use him when the game might actually be in question, given how desperately the Sox could find themselves in need of a scoreless inning or two in the next few weeks.
Lavarnway Keeps On Rolling
In his first at bat of the night, Ryan Lavarnway struck out on one of Colby Lewis' hard-breaking sliders that have served him so well against righties this year. It's not the sort of thing a guy is likely to see in the minors, to say the least. In his second at bat, however, Lewis again tried to get him on the slider. This time, Lavarnway got out ahead of the pitch, making contact in front of the plate before it could sweep away, and shooting it into left field for a big double. He might not play again tomorrow with David Ortiz expected to be back, but he's shown the sort of ability to adapt that should help make the transition to the majors that much easier.
Red Sox MVP -- Adrian Gonzalez
Two homers? 'Nuff said, I should think.
Up Next -- Josh Beckett vs. Matt Harrison
Matt Harrison will be the second lefty of the series for the Red Sox, but he's got absolutely nothing in the way of splits. Of course, with Josh Beckett on the mound that might be for the best, since Jason Varitek will be behind the plate. It will be interesting to see how the lineup shakes out tomorrow too, with everyone but Kevin Youkilis back from their injuries. Hopefully for once they come out in full force to support Josh Beckett, too--he's had some trouble with run support in his amazing rebound year.