BOSTON -- Here are some quick thoughts on the Rangers' 3-0 win over Boston. Boy did they need that one. It ends a 6-game losing streak. BTW, you can check out a replay of our live in-game chat here.
* Lefty C.J. Wilson gave this team exactly what they needed: A solid pitching performance deep into the game. Wilson was excellent, staying in rhythm and inducing plenty of ground balls. Wilson attacked hitters and didn't get rattled if he put a man on base, which didn't happen often. He ended up going 6 2/3 innings, leaving with runners at first and second. Darren O'Day came in and ended the threat.
That means Wilson has now pitched at least 6 innings in all three of his starts, all of them quality starts. In fact, he's given up 3 earned runs in 19.2 innings. An impressive 1.37 ERA. He's making this transition from reliever to starter look easy.
He's always had a tough, gritty quality. I thought he showed that in this game too. After allowing a single to J.D. Drew with two outs in a 0-0 game in the sixth, he battled back to get Dustin Pedroia to ground out harmlessly to the pitcher to end the inning. He was his usual solid self, something he's been as a starter since spring training started.
* The team who couldn't buy a break for most of the road trip got one in the seventh. Andres Blanco put down a drag bunt and the ball was thrown away (he was credited with a hit and took second on the error). Then, an error by 3B Adrian Beltre allowed Blanco to go to third. David Murphy, who was at third, scored on the drag bunt, giving the Rangers a 3-0 lead.
* Josh Hamilton sure does seem to be heating up. He followed up his performance Wednesday -- 3-for-4 with 4 RBIs and his first homer of the year -- with a lead off double in the sixth, the only extra basehit in the game to that point. He scored on Cruz's single.
* Speaking of Nelson Cruz, he was the DH to give his tight hamstring a little bit of a break. But Cruz said he was fine and sure acted like it. He singled up Hamilton in the seventh and then promptly stole second base to get himself in scoring position. He scored on David Murphy's double to center (Cruz even waited to see if it would be caught and still had time to motor around into home). Cruz was intentionally walked in the eighth. He stole another base, but was stranded.
* Blanco made a nice defensive play at second, getting to a hard-bouncing ball and starting a 4-6-3 double play in the second. He later got over on a tough grounder to end the fifth inning. That's the kind of defense Blanco provides. It will be interesting to see what the Rangers do when Ian Kinsler (currently on rehab assignment in Arizona) returns. Both Joaquin Arias and Blanco have options. Blanco got his first hit of the season on a drag bunt in the seventh, but Arias has started the season batting .350 (14-for-40).
* Catcher Taylor Teagarden entered the game 0-for-27 this season. He was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, meaning he's 0-for-21 on the season with 15 strikeouts.
* Murphy got a big hit in his return to Boston. He got the start today as manager Ron Washington decided to give Vladimir Guerrero a night off. Murphy hit a well-placed double to left-center to score Cruz and give the Rangers a two-run cushion in the seventh.
* The box score doesn't show that Chris Davis had some productive at-bats. The first baseman has struggled this season, but he had a nice, patient walk in the second inning and a good at-bat that resulted in an out at first (and a good play by Kevin Youkilis). I sense he may start hitting the ball better, much like Hamilton did (he had some productive ABs, but didn't have much to show for it until the last few games). He also had a nice pick in the dirt off Michael Young's throw to end a threat in the seventh inning. There's no debating that Davis' glove at first make a difference.
* Big out by Darren O'Day to end the seventh. He got Darnell McDonald -- a Ranger killer in this series -- to ground out to third on a 3-2 pitch. Michael Young charged the ball and made a good off-balance throw to get him.
* Darren Oliver was solid again in a pressure situation. He came in to face J.D. Drew and Dustin Pedroia in the eighth and got both of them swinging. He stayed in for the ninth as Washington tried to save Neftali Feliz and the rest of the Rangers' bullpen. Oliver got a double play to end the game and earn the save in 1 2/3 innings of work.