Red Sox Opening Weekend 2011: Rangers Complete Three-Game Sweep, Defeat Red Sox, 5-1

Clay Buchholz gave up four solo home runs and Jonathan Papelbon allowed one run as the Texas Rangers completed the three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox, winning 5-1 on Sunday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

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Red Sox Opening Day: Boston Bullpen Blows It In Eighth, Sox Fall To Rangers, 9-5

With both starting pitchers chased from the game in the sixth inning, the fate of Friday's season opener betwen the Red Sox and the Rangers was left in the hands of the bullpens. For Boston, that was unfortunate. 

The Red Sox, who trailed 5-4 from the fourth inning on, managed to tie it in the top of the eighth on a David Ortiz solo home run -- the 350th career homer for Big Papi. But then the bottom of the eighth happened.  

In the bottom of the frame, Daniel Bard entered, and after getting a flyout from the leadoff batter, proceeded to allow a career-high four runs on four hits while recording just two outs. The scoring begin with former Red Sox' David Murphy's double to left field that was so close to being foul it kicked up chalk as it landed and got past Carl Crawford. Elvis Andrus drove him in two batters latter with a gap-finding double to right center, giving the Rangers an 8-5 lead. A Josh Hamilton double to right made it 9-5, and chased Bard from the game. 

The Rangers' bullpen did the work after C.J. Wilson departed in two outs in the sixth: the combination of Mark Lowe, Arthur Rhodes, Darren Oliver and Neftali Feliz held the Red Sox to just one run -- Ortiz's homer -- through the final 3.1 innings.  

Game two of the series with the Rangers is set for Saturday night at 8:05 p.m. ET. 

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Boston Red Sox Opening Day: Adrian Gonzalez Has Boston Up 4-2 After Three Innings

The first three inning of the 2011 Boston Red Sox season is in the books, and already Adrian Gonzalez is showing why he demands a new (huge) contract from Theo Epstein.

Gonzalez is 2-for-2 already -- a pair of singles -- with three RBI, two of them coming on a single up the middle with the bases loaded in the top of the third inning to give the Red Sox a 4-2 lead. And it was 

The 2011 season was ushered in with a wild first inning Friday afternoon in Texas. Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a high, lazy fly ball to right-center, but Nelson Cruz and Julio Bourbon didn't lazily collided, allowing the ball to drop, and Ellsbury to reach second base. Kevin Youkilis' double off the wall in right field scored Ellsbury. Gonzalez followed with his first hit and RBI, driving in Youkilis with a single through the right side. 

Boston's 2-0 lead was quickly cut in half when Ian Kinsler took the second pitch he saw from Jon Lester and lined it into the seats in left field. A home run from Cruz in the bottom of the second tied it up, 2-2, and atoned for his first-inning error. 

In the top of the third, the Red Sox added a couple more runs on Gonzalez's double to take a 4-2 lead heading into the fourth inning. 

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Boston Red Sox Opening Day: Lineups Posted For Game With Texas Rangers

The seemingly endless winter is over (ignore the snow on the ground for the time being). Baseball is back. 

It officially began on Thursday, with six games on MLB's Opening Day, but the Boston Red Sox season doesn't begin until 4:05 p.m. ET on Friday, when Jacoby Ellsbury stands in against C.J. Wilson, starting a 2011 campaign that hopefully goes well into October. 

Here are the lineups for Game 1 of 162: 

Boston Red Sox

1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
3. Carl Crawford LF
4. Kevin Youkilis 3B
5. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
6. David Ortiz DH
7. Mike Cameron RF
8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
9. Marco Scutaro SS

Jon Lester, P

Texas Rangers

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Elvis Andrus, SS
3. Josh Hamilton, LF
4. Adrian Beltre, 3B (miss u!)
5. Michael Young, DH
6. Nelson Cruz, RF
7. Mike Napoli, 1B
8. Yorvit Torrealba, C
9. Julio Borbon, CF

C.J. Wilson, P

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Boston Red Sox Opening Day: Time, TV Info And More For Friday's Opener

The new-look Boston Red Sox season (finally) begins on Friday, with Jon Lester getting the start against C.J. Wilson as the defending American League champion Texas Rangers host Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and the rest of the Red Sox in the 2011 season opener

TIme: 4:05 p.m. EST 

TV Information: Nationally, it's on ESPN (Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine), while locally, NESN has the broadcast (Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy in the booth).

Starting Pitchers: LHP Jon Lester (19-9, 3.25 ERA in 2010) against LHP C.J. Wilson (15-8, 3.35 ERA) 

First Pitch: A pair of former Rangers will be on hand to make the ceremonial first pitch: outfielder Jeff Burroughs and pitcher Charlie Hough. 

"As we recognize the Rangers' 40th season in Texas, we felt that the first pitch ceremony should reflect the history of the club," commented Rangers' President Nolan Ryan. "Jeff Burroughs was the first great offensive star for the Rangers in the 1970's, and Charlie Hough was the club's ace throughout the 1980's. It is a very appropriate that they take part in the opening day activities."

Additionally, before the game, the Rangers will officially raise the 2010 American League Championship Flag.

Fly Over: Yep. A B-52 Bomber from the 20th Bomb Squad of Barksdale Air Force Base.

For more, head over to our Red Sox blog, Over The Monster

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