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Saturday, September 3, 2011
Rapid reaction: Red Sox 12, Rangers 7

By Joe McDonald

BOSTON -- After getting beat 10-0 on Friday, the Red Sox produced in almost every aspect of the game and dismantled the Texas Rangers, 12-7, on Saturday at Fenway Park.

First things first: Red Sox starter Erik Bedard recorded his first win since coming to Boston at the July 31 trade deadline. He entered his sixth start for the Red Sox with an 0-2 record and a 3.45 ERA, but finished the outing with a strong six-inning performance in which he allowed only three runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts. He tossed 101 pitches, 59 for strikes.

“They were scoring and seemed like they were tacking on, and he’s able to stop it and actually had a bunch of strikeouts there for a while,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “We have a big inning and the game completely turned around.”

In his previous starts, Bedard did have some control issues, and Francona still believes it has to do with the pitcher’s injured knee that landed him on the disabled back in June when he was still with the Mariners.

“I would say a lot of it is with his knee,” Francona said. “There’s still some soreness and instability there. He ends up throwing with his arm more than his body. As much as you want pitchers to keep their legs under them, at times it’s hard for him. He’s probably going to fight that a little bit.”

Of course, Bedard needed some offensive support and he got it.

Boston banged out a total of 16 hits, and with the exception of Kevin Youkilis and pinch-hitter Darnell McDonald, each player in the Red Sox’s batting order registered a hit.

RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Have a day, Josh Reddick. The Sox’s right fielder posted a career-high four hits in the game. He went 4-for-4, including a double, three singles, three runs scored and was hit by a pitch in his final plate appearance in the bottom of the eighth inning. He was smoked on the left hand by Rangers reliever Darren Oliver. Fortunately, Reddick remained in the game for the rest of the inning, but was removed for the top of the ninth.

“Red got hit pretty good. He was X-rayed and it was negative,” Francona said. “He’s going to be a little sore tomorrow and we’ll see how he reacts from there.”

MILESTONE FOR PEDEY: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia finished the game 2-for-5, including a single and a three-run double. The double was his 200th of his career.

A CRAWFORD SALAMI: Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford collected his fourth-career grand slam, his first with the Red Sox. He crushed a 3-2 offering off Rangers starter Colby Lewis and deposited it into the bleacher seats beyond the Red Sox bullpen.

"That’s a five-run swing with two outs and that was huge in the game,” Francona said.

Crawford missed Friday's game due to illness but he showed no signs of sickness on Saturday. Besides his grand slam, he added a double in the sixth inning and finished the game 2-for-5.

"I feel good to be able to contribute," he said. "Help out and do things to help the team win, especially with the grand slam. It feels good. Glad to be back in the lineup. Glad I didn't feel sick like I did yesterday. I was happy I was feeling much better. I took some medicine and laid down last night. I was fine [today]."

SALTY CHARACTER: Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia has done a solid job offensively this season and he also added to the offensive explosion on Saturday. He went 2-for-5, including a two-run home run. It was his 14th homer of the season and he now has 48 RBIs. He also swiped second base in the bottom of the fourth inning for his first-career stolen base.

LOWRIE INJURED: Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie was removed from the game in the fourth inning because of left shoulder tightness. Prior to his exit he was 1-for-2 with an RBI. Earlier this season he suffered a left shoulder strain and was placed on the disabled list on June 17. He was activated on Aug. 8 and has played a total of 22 games since. Lowrie has hit safely in 11 of his last 14 games.

“Jed’s just stiff, probably because of fatigue. He’s played a lot,” Francona said. “I don’t think he’ll play tomorrow, but he’ll be available. We’re OK there. That might be me overreacting a little bit. I just don’t want to lose guys.”

Mike Aviles replaced Lowrie in the bottom of the fourth and quickly provided the go-ahead RBI single.

“It was one of those situations where I knew I had the bases loaded, so I knew that at some point of the at-bat he was going to have to throw something for a strike and I was trying to be as patient as possible and wait for a pitch I can handle,” said Aviles, who finished the game 2-for-3.

UP NEXT: The Red Sox send John Lackey (12-10, 5.94 ERA) to the mound on Sunday to face Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison (10-9, 3.54) in the series finale at 1:35.