Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 2, Rangers 1
July, 24, 2012
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Timely hitting and timely pitching helped the Red Sox snap a four-game losing skid as they defeated the Texas Rangers 2-1 Tuesday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Mike Aviles provided the winning RBI in the top of the ninth inning with a bloop single.
Meanwhile, Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz can’t catch a break these days.
The right-hander again pitched well, but for the second consecutive start he had to settle for a no-decision. Buchholz worked seven innings and allowed only one run on four hits with three walks and one strikeout, but reliever Vicente Padilla (4-0) earned the win and closer Alfredo Aceves recorded his 21st save.
In his previous start against the Chicago White Sox on July 19, Buchholz allowed only one run on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts over eight innings of work and did not factor into the decision.
But Buchholz will take the team win.
Boston scored its first run in the top of the fourth when Kelly Shoppach delivered a two-out double to score Cody Ross, giving the Red Sox a 1-0 lead.
Buchholz was dealing and getting defensive help too. Texas finally pushed a run across in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 1-1. Elvis Andrus had a double, reached third on a wild pitch and scored on a 6-3 ground out by Josh Hamilton.
The game remained knotted until the Red Sox scored the go-ahead run in the ninth off Rangers closer Joe Nathan. Daniel Nava, who replaced Carl Crawford in left in the seventh, drew a two-out walk. Pinch hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed with a walk before Aviles provided the RBI single to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.
SCARY MOMENT: With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Padilla drilled the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre in the back of the head with a pitch. The ball ricocheted about 40 feet into the air and Beltre fell to the ground. He was tended to by the Texas team trainer, and after a couple of minutes, Beltre got to his feet and began to walk down to first before he was escorted to the dugout. The crowd of 41,237 began booing Padilla, who spent parts of four seasons with the Rangers and has a reputation for intentionally hitting batters. Beltre was examined at the ballpark and the results came back normal.
TEXAS THREE-STEP: Buchholz is known for his speed and agility. He was put to the test in the Texas heat Tuesday night. The game time temperature 94 degrees and in the bottom of the second, Buchholz retired the side in order on three consecutive 3-1 ground outs. In fact, he and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez combined for seven outs in the game.
WEB GEM: Aviles turned in the defensive play of the game in the bottom of the third. With no outs and a runner on first, the Rangers’ Mike Napoli drove the ball toward the hole on the left side of the infield. Aviles ranged to his right, snared the grounder and made a perfect throw to second baseman Dustin Pedroia to begin a 6-4-3 double play.
UP NEXT: Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett (5-8, 4.53 ERA) will start the series finale against the Rangers on Wednesday night. Left-hander Derek Holland (6-5, 4.84) will get the nod for Texas. Beckett is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in one start against the Rangers this season, allowing three runs on seven hits. He’s 3-1 with a 3.48 in five career starts for the Red Sox against the Rangers in Texas. In his last start, Beckett allowed five runs on seven hits with three walks in six innings during a 6-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on July 20 at Fenway Park. “He’s ready,” Valentine said.