The Red Sox and Rangers are set to wrap up their series with a rubber match in game three. We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Rangers Ballpark.
Rangers 5, Red Sox 3, End 8th -- Matt Albers continues to throw hanging breaking balls and sinkers, but he's not getting away with it nearly so well these days. Nelson Cruz takes him out of the park to right field on the second pitch he sees, giving the Rangers a helpful insurance run headed to the ninth.
Rangers 4, Red Sox 3, Mid 8th -- The Sox tease with the appearance of a rally, but don't provide the run that would make it legitimate, as Pedro Ciriaco is left stranded when Dustin Pedroia hits a long drive to left that David Murphy is able to catch over his shoulder on the run to end the inning.
Rangers 4, Red Sox 3, End 7th -- Ah, Red Sox baseball. Or rather, Red Sox baseball since August 2012, just finding ways to lose. Josh Beckett, after putting up back-to-back 1-2-3 innings, gets an out on a ground ball and then plunks Elvis Andrus to put the go-ahead run on first. A strikeout of Josh Hamilton gets Beckett his second out, but Adrian Beltre adds a single into right to put runners on the corners. And while Beckett does manage to get the next batter out, it only comes after a pitch in the dirt and to the wall allows Andrus to come home, giving the Rangers the lead and putting the Sox six outs away from falling back beneath .500.
Red Sox 3, Rangers 3, Mid 7th -- Not only does Derek Holland get back to scoreless innings, but he actually strikes out the side in the seventh, getting Kelly Shoppach for the third time tonight.
Red Sox 3, Rangers 3, End 6th -- Josh Beckett preserves the tie by getting a trio of ground balls from the bottom of the order. At 90 pitches through six innings, he probably has at least one more left in him.
Red Sox 3, Rangers 3, Mid 6th -- Six innings in and we're back to even. Dustin Pedroia does the honors of evening things up for the Sox, taking what looked like a slider that just didn't break and driving it over the wall in left-center for a solo shot.
Rangers 3, Red Sox 2, End 5th -- Josh Beckett, at least, is capable of rebounding, getting his first 1-2-3 inning of the night to keep Texas in reach.
Rangers 3, Red Sox 2, Mid 5th -- And the Red Sox respond...by not getting the ball out of the infield in a 1-2-3 frame.
Rangers 3, Red Sox 2, End 4th -- Well, there's the Josh Beckett we all know and--
Well, there's the Josh Beckett we all know. After barely getting out of the third unscathed, Beckett finds himself knocked around Arlington in the fourth. A leadoff double to the wall in right gets things started, and another to left-center with one out brings in the first Texas run of the night. A single to left doesn't bring the tying run home from second, but a Craig Gentry squeeze does in the next at bat, and before Beckett can pick up the third out, the Rangers grab a third run, this time on an Ian Kinsler bloop that a sliding Cody Ross can't come up with. Just like that, and the Sox are down.
Red Sox 2, Rangers 0, Mid 4th -- For a while there, pitchers had Will Middlebrooks all figured out. "Oh, we'll go away from him! Offspeed stuff low-and-away every time! He can't hit it!" But then Will Middlebrooks started hitting a few singles, maybe a double, taking those pitches low-and-away and knocking them into the opposite field. Seeing this, Derek Holland clearly thought to himself "well now he won't be expecting me to pitch inside" and gave it a go.
Will Middlebrooks took his changeup and he hit it into the stands for a solo shot. And now everybody has learned a lesson. Except probably Wily Mo Pena.
Red Sox 1, Rangers 0, End 3rd -- Once again the defense picks Josh Beckett up. After leadoff singles from Yorvit Torrealba and Craig Gentry put runners on the corners with zero outs, the one-run lead seemed doomed. However, a shallowish fly to right field just drew a bluff and an advance to second thanks to the threat of Cody Ross' arm, and on a ground ball to second Dustin Pedroia elected to go home. Kelly Shoppach kept Torrealba away from the plate long enough for the umpire to call him out for starting towards the dugout (he would try to reverse course and slide into the plate, but it was too late by then), and after a walk loaded the bases, a pop-up finally ended the threat.
Red Sox 1, Rangers 0, Mid 3rd -- Dustin Pedroia displays warning track power, but that's as close as the Red Sox get to any actual offense in a 1-2-3 third.
Red Sox 1, Rangers 0, End 2nd -- A bit of hard contact to start the inning, but Adrian Beltre's line drive ends up in Jacoby Ellsbury's glove and Michael Young managed just a single with his, allowing Beckett to end another scoreless inning with a ground ball and strike out.
Red Sox 1, Rangers 0, Mid 2nd -- A terrible pop-up bunt from Carl Crawford puts a stop to a possible second-inning attack as the Sox strand Will Middlebrooks at first after a leadoff single.
Red Sox 1, Rangers 0, End 1st -- Josh Beckett provides the Sox with a welcome scoreless first, though he has to rely on a little help from Kelly Shoppach to do so. After Elvis Andrus reached on a one-out walk, he tried to take off for second, but was caught by a mile as Shoppach fired an absolute bullet right on the mark to Mike Aviles. One ground ball later, and the Sox were out of the first.
Red Sox 1, Rangers 0, Mid 1st -- The Red Sox strike in the first inning--a welcome change against lefties--but don't really take full advantage of their opportunities. With a leadoff walk from Jacoby Ellsbury and seeing-eye single past first base for Pedro Ciriaco, the Sox had runners on the corners without a single out recorded. Dustin Pedroia, however, was perhaps overeager, swinging at the first pitch he saw and hitting a ground ball to short to start a double play. The run came in the back door, but now with two on and the bases empty the Rangers were free to drill Adrian Gonzalez in the hip--likely retaliation for the Adrian Beltre headshot from the night before--and get Cody Ross swinging (and accidentally losing his bat into the stands) to end the inning.