Red Sox 6, Rangers 0
The Red Sox have won their four-game series with the Rangers, sweeping the last three games in impressive fashion.
While Boston's offensive output Thursday wasn't what it had been in the middle two games, ending as it did after the fourth inning, the Sox poured it on early once again, using the same longball that had so tormented them in the first series of the year.
For each of the first four innings, the Red Sox went deep. In the first, it was Adrian Gonzalez, smacking a middle-in pitch over the wall in center field to put the first run up on Alexi Ogando, who spent much of the time he didn't spend giving up homers striking batters out.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, he was usually giving up homers. David Ortiz did the honors in the second inning, cleaning out an inside pitch to go long to right field. Up next was...Adrian Gonzalez again, who made it five homers in three games and ten at bats, with both of his shots Thursday coming on the first pitch of the at bat. Finally, Jarrod Saltalamacchia went opposite field for his fourth homer in as many innings.
The 6-run lead would hold up with ease, as Andrew Miller pitched a surprisingly dominant game. Only walking two batters in 6.1 innings of work, Miller kept the Rangers down all night, inducing ground balls all night when he wasn't striking out Josh Hamilton three straight times.
If the first two wins told the Red Sox that they could win, this one may have them thinking that they should win any potential playoff series. Not only did they hold them down yet again while adding four homers, but of all things they've actually managed to make their run differential against the Rangers positive for the season series, having now outscored them 41-37 over the course of the year.
Three For The Road
Jed Lowrie On A Hot Streak
The on-again, off-again infielder has started to find his rhythm, maintaining a seven-game hitting streak despite having a number of good swings that ended up lined right into gloves of late. In that time he's batting .370 for the Sox, and has even come around from some unfortunate defensive plays, even providing some highlight material of late. This is, of course, coming at the perfect time, with the Sox in the midst of a Kevin Youkilis disabled list stint.
Order has been restored. While there's no complaining to be done about Ellsbury's homers, it was always a bit...wrong that he had more than Adrian Gonzalez. Now, Ellsbury is still tied with Gonzalez, but with the pace he's on it's hard to imagine that's going to last much longer.
Of course, above them is David Ortiz, who just hit number 25. Which is a pretty normal thing in its own right.
Double Header On The Horizon
With Hurricane Irene coming to town Sunday, the Red Sox have reworked their scheduled game into a doubleheader on Saturday, starting at noon with the second half beginning at 5.
This outcome only came about after some negotiating between the players and the team, with the organization wanting to ensure that both ends got in before the rains came by playing the doubleheader on Friday. The players, however, weren't interested in playing at noon after a flight that's only expected to get them into Boston seven hours earlier.
Red Sox MVP -- Adrian Gonzalez
Remember how two games ago he won for hitting two homers? And it was a " 'nuff said" situation? Well, same old same old.
Up Next -- 7:10 p.m. Friday vs. Oakland | Tim Wakefield (6-5, 4.97 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (10-11, 3.24 ERA)
Tim Wakefield goes for 200...again. But, finally, the Red Sox actually seem to be running hot. And after the ridiculous comeback the Athletics allowed the Yankees to stage ultimately resulting in 22 runs Thursday afternoon, their pitching staff can't be feeling too good either.