Saturday, May 10, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 8, Rangers 3
By Travis L. Brown | Special to ESPNBoston.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- With an impressive turnaround after getting shut out in Friday's one-hitter, the Red Sox routed the Rangers 8-3, pulling back to .500 on the season at 18-18.
Boston starter Jon Lester had excellent command Saturday, with seven of his eight K's on the night coming on called third strikes, and he improved to 4-4 on the season.
Lester went seven innings, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks. His record against Texas improves to 4-3 in 13 career starts, and he has gone at least six innings against the Rangers in nine of those games.
Victorino on fire: A game removed from going 0-for-4 against Texas ace Yu Darvish, right fielder Shane Victorino had a field day against Rangers left-hander Martin Perez. Victorino went 3-for-4 on the night, but, more importantly, had three clutch at-bats with runners in scoring position. Most notable was his two-run single in the fourth with the Rangers' infield in on the cut of the grass. He more than doubled his RBIs on the season in Friday's game with four. It was just his second multi-RBI game of the season.
Getting them on and over: Before Saturday's game, manager John Farrell said there were no big-picture concerns for the offense after getting one-hit by Darvish the night before. Farrell went on to say his team is clicking like it did last season, getting runners on and getting timely hits. Saturday, the Sox backed his claim on two occasions. Between the second and third innings, the Sox reached base safely in seven consecutive plate appearances, starting with David Ross' walk, through Mike Napoli's walk in the third. In that span, the Sox plated two runs on three hits, including David Ortiz's solo shot. In the fourth, the Sox strung together four hits in five plate appearances, which included a bloop single by Victorino to score two and a single to center by Jonny Gomes also driving in two.
Lester dealing, for the most part: Friday night started as if it could be another historic night in Arlington, as Jon Lester threw three innings of perfect baseball. One start after throwing a career-high 15 strikeouts against Oakland, Lester continued to have that kind of spot-on command. However, he suffered a slight blip in the second after giving up his first hit of the night on a double off the bat of Rangers left fielder Shin-Soo Choo. The Rangers would collect just four hits total off Lester, but three of them were extra-base hits, including a two-out RBI triple by Elvis Andrus in the fourth.
Even bigger Papi: With his third-inning solo home run, Red Sox designated hitter Ortiz moved up in the world of big flies, in the majors and in the Red Sox franchise. Saturday's blast was Ortiz's 438th of his career, moving him into a tie for 40th all time with Andre Dawson and Jason Giambi. Ortiz also took sole possession of fourth place in Boston history with his 380th home run with the Red Sox, breaking a tie with Dwight Evans. The homer also marked Ortiz's 19th at Globe Life Park in Arlington, tied for second most by a Rangers opponent. The top spot is owned by Giambi with 20.