The Red Sox are out for a series win as they take the Rangers on in a matinee rubber match. We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Rangers 9, Red Sox 9, End 8th -- The Sox go down in order in the eighth, but they'll have their big guns coming up in the ninth: Gonzalez - Ross - Middlebrooks.
Rangers 9, Red Sox 9, Mid 8th -- With Josh Hamilton nearing, a man on first, and one out, Clay Mortensen got a ground ball from Ian Kinsler, allowing the Sox to turn two and get out of the inning without any harm done. He's done more solid work, even with the one solo shot.
Rangers 9, Red Sox 9, End 7th -- Will Middlebrooks cannot be stopped. After a single from Dustin Pedroia, double from Adrian Gonzalez, and walk from Cody Ross brought in a sixth Red Sox run and put two men on for Middlebrooks, the third baseman got a high fast ball from Roy Oswalt and launched it. The only thing that kept the no-doubter from the Boston streets was the Sports Authority sign over the Monster. With three more runs scoring, the Sox tied it up at 9-9.
Rangers 9, Red Sox 5, Mid 7th -- Not even the usually-stingy Clayton Mortensen can escape the Rangers' wrath, offering up a shot to the deepest part of the Monster to Nelson Cruz.
Rangers 8, Red Sox 5, End 6th -- No response from the Sox this time, as the Rangers get a 1-2-3 frame from Oswalt against Ciriaco, Ellsbury, and Crawford.
Rangers 8, Red Sox 5, Mid 6th -- The prosecution rests, both on Josh Beckett and Bobby Valentine. Bringing Beckett back out for the sixth after his awful fifth was bad enough, but after Beckett allowed a ringing single to start the inning, letting him face Geovany Soto was pretty much criminal. The catcher got an ugly, flat fastball, and crushed it over everything in left, immediately erasing the gains from the bottom of the fifth.
Rangers 6, Red Sox 5, End 5th -- The Red Sox respond in kind in the bottom half of the inning, chasing Matt Harrison from the game before Beckett, shockingly enough. Carl Crawford gets the Sox started off right with a line drive to right that gets into the corner, allowing Crawford to reach third base. While Dustin Pedroia can't get him in with a ground ball to the left side of the infield, Adrian Gonzalez plays wallball for an RBI double, and then moves to third as Harrison offers up walks to both Will Middlebrooks and Ryan Lavarnway. Roy Oswalt is brought in to get the Rangers out of the jam, and does so, but not before Geovany Soto lets a pitch deflect off his glove and get to the backstop, allowing Gonzalez to head home and bring the Sox right back within one.
Rangers 6, Red Sox 3, Mid 5th -- Josh Beckett lends more credence to the even-inning, odd-inning theory with a disaster fifth. Mitch Moreland leads things off with a monster blast that gets all the way to the camera well in dead center field, and after Will MIddlebrooks makes a great play on an Ian Kinsler bunt, Elvis Andrus singles to left and Josh Hamilton launches a two-run shot around Pesky's pole to make it 6-3 in favor of the Rangers.
Red Sox 3, Rangers 3, End 4th -- The Sox waste an opportunity to break the tie after a one-out double from Kelly Shoppach, as Pedro Ciriaco flew out to deep left and Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to second to end the threat.
Red Sox 3, Rangers 3, Mid 4th -- Odd-year Beckett, even-inning Beckett? After a rough-but-scoreless third, Beckett gets three quick outs--two through the air and one on the ground--to give the Sox a chance to go ahead in the bottom of the fourth.
Red Sox 3, Rangers 3, End 3rd -- It's been a while since Cody Ross went crazy with homers against the White Sox, but he's finally back in the long ball books with a two-out shot against Harrison in the third that ties the game at three-a-piece.
Rangers 3, Red Sox 2, Mid 3rd -- Things looked to be going south again for Josh Beckett in the third after surrendering a pair of baserunners by barely grazing Ian Kinsler with a curveball and allowing a single to Elvis Andrus. A fly ball to shallow center isn't enough to bring the runner in from third, however, and Will Middlebrooks handles both a soft line drive from Adrian Beltre and a Nelson Cruz grounder to keep the third scoreless for Beckett.
Rangers 3, Red Sox 2, End 2nd -- Like Beckett, Harrison settles down in the second. Though he allows a double down the left field line to Pedro Ciriaco, ground balls from Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford are enough to see him through to the third with just the two runs on the board.
Rangers 3, Red Sox 2, Mid 2nd -- In stark contrast to his lengthy first inning, Beckett needs just six pitches to retire the side in the second, getting a pair of quick ground balls and then a fly ball that goes high, but not terribly deep to right field, where Cody Ross is waiting to put it away for the out.
Rangers 3, Red Sox 2, End 1st -- This one has the makings of a barn burner early, as the Sox fire right back at the Rangers in the bottom half of the inning. All of the damage for the Sox comes with two outs in the inning, after Jacoby Ellsbury went down swinging and Carl Crawford was robbed of yet another double by a good leaping grab from David Murphy. Dustin Pedroia hit a sharp ground ball to short for an infield single, and then scored all the way from first when Adrian Gonzalez laced a double down the right field line. A hard shot up the middle from Cody Ross deflected off of Ian Kinsler's glove to allow Gonzalez to score, and while Will Middlebrooks was able to draw a walk, a hard ground ball from Ryan Lavarnway went right to Elvis Andrus to end the frame.
Rangers 3, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- Josh Beckett revives the tradition of rocky first innings for the Red Sox. The damage starts quickly, as Beckett coughs up a nine-pitch walk to Ian Kinsler. A bunt from Elvis Andrus puts two on without an out, and a long fly ball from Josh Hamilton dropped into the triangle to score both. Tack on an Adrian Beltre sacrifice fly, and you've got a three-run first for the Rangers--just about the last thing Beckett needed right now.