Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Nelson Cruz hit Tim Wakefield's first pitch in the bottom of the 11th inning over the wall in left field, giving the Texas Rangers an incredible 10-9 win over the Boston Red Sox.
Although Cruz hit the winning homer, Josh Hamilton was the star for the Rangers as he went 4-for-5 with a homer, scored four times and made three great catches in the outfield. That included robbing Jed Lowrie of a possible home run in the sixth inning.
Playing their first game since Major League Baseball's approval of the sale of the franchise from Tom Hicks to a group led by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan, the Rangers gave their new ownership group plenty of cheer. They rallied from an 8-2 deficit and finished with 17 hits, including home runs from Michael Young and Mitch Moreland.
The opener of the three-game series proved to be a hitting barrage with the Red Sox clubbing five homers, including two from J.D. Drew. Lowrie, David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre also went deep, but Boston dropped its second in a row.
Both starters didn't last long. Josh Beckett gave up 10 hits and six runs over five innings, while Texas' Tommy Hunter allowed six hits, including consecutive homers to Ortiz, Beltre and Drew to start Boston's seven-run fourth inning. He was replaced after Drew's 15th blast of the season.
The gritty play of the AL West-leading Rangers helped them to tie the game in the eighth. Down 9-8, Hamilton doubled to right field with two outs. Vladimir Guerrero then hit a roller up the middle. The throw to first base was barely late as Guerrero slid in head-first and was safe. Hamilton chugged around third and barely made it home as the throw from first baseman Mike Lowell was a tad late.
Darren O'Day (4-2) pitched the 11th inning to get the win and stretched his club-record scoreless appearance streak to 29 games. He has worked 26 1/3 straight shutout frames and hasn't been scored upon since June 1 against the White Sox.
Wakefield (3-9) had his first pitch, a knuckleball, crushed by Cruz, who ended with two RBI on the night. It was his 16th homer of the season.
There were plenty of twists and turns in the game that started with the Rangers holding a 2-0 lead after two innings. Cruz legged out an infield hit with the ball caroming off the body of Beckett, allowing Hamilton to score in the opening frame. Moreland came home on Elvis Andrus' base hit in the second.
After Lowrie homered leading off the third, the Red Sox connected for three straight homers in a span of seven pitches off Hunter in the fourth. Marco Scutaro added an RBI single, Victor Martinez a two-run base hit and Ortiz an RBI fielder's choice for the 8-2 cushion. The latter runs came off Scott Feldman.
Moreland clubbed his first career homer, a two-run shot in the bottom half. Young and Hamilton went deep to begin the fifth, but Drew's long ball in the seventh moved the Red Sox to a 9-6 lead.
Hamilton scored on David Murphy's sacrifice fly off Felix Doubront in the seventh, and Daniel Bard then surrendered an RBI double to Bengie Molina when Drew seemed to misjudge the ball on a liner to right field.
Earlier Friday, the Rangers, led by the new ownership group, announced a reduction in prices for concessions, parking and merchandise...The Red Sox have multiple homers in each of their last four games with 13 total overall in that span...Martinez extended his season-long hit streak to 11 games...Boston has lost seven of its last nine in Arlington...Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury left the game in the fourth inning with pain in his left side...Hamilton raised his major league-leading batting average to .362.