Rapid Reaction: Rangers 9, Red Sox 1
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers combined a solid pitching performance with an offensive resurrection to secure a dominating 9-1 win Monday over the Boston Red Sox in the first game of this three-game series. Every Rangers batter reached base and eight had at least one hit. And after the news broke before the game that RHP Colby Lewis would be out for the season, Scott Feldman came up with one of his best outings of the year. Some more thoughts on the win:
What it means: The Rangers improved to 57-38, again tying them with the New York Yankees for the best record in baseball, barring the conclusion of the Yankees' game against the Seattle Mariners. The Rangers' AL West lead is now 5 1/2 games over the Los Angeles Angels, with the result of their game against the Kansas City Royals pending, as well. Texas has held outright possession of the AL West lead for the last 105 days and has led by at least four games since June 15.
Offense delivers: The Rangers' struggling offense showed signs of life in the first two innings and broke out in a big way in the third. The Rangers scored four runs in the third inning with the help of some aggressive base running and hits from players who have really struggled of late. Craig Gentry showcased his speed, beating out a throw to first for a leadoff single. Ian Kinsler followed with a walk and the Rangers executed a double steal to put runners on second and third. Elvis Andrus' infield single and a poor throw to first from Dustin Pedroia allowed both runners to score. Josh Hamilton hit an off-speed pitch for an RBI double, and Michael Young brought him home with a single to make it 4-1. Mike Napoli added a two-run homer in the sixth inning, and the Rangers added three more runs to push the cushion to 9-1. The nine runs matched the Rangers' high for a game this month.
Feldman does his part: Feldman put together one of his best starts of the season, allowing only one run on former Ranger Jarrod Saltalamacchia's two-out homer in the second. Feldman finished with just the one run allowed on seven hits and no walks in seven innings. He struck out five and got solid run support, something he hasn't had in previous starts.
Good eye: The majority of Rangers hitters were far more selective at the plate than they have been in some time. The Rangers showed patience up and down the lineup, working Red Sox starter Felix Doubront's pitch count to 67 by the end of the third inning. Anrdus, Kinsler and Nelson Cruz put together multiple long at-bats. Even Josh Hamilton showed patience with an eight-pitch at-bat, although it ended in a strikeout. The Rangers worked three walks and pounded out 11 hits.
Leadoff man leads the way: Kinsler had his best game since the All-Star break, going 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, a stolen base and two runs scored.
Surging Napoli: After a great series in Anaheim, Napoli gave another indication that he may be coming out of his prolonged slump. He launched a 416-foot two-run home run in the sixth inning on a 3-2 count after an eight-pitch at-bat. Napoli has hit three home runs in his last three games, following a 17-game drought prior to his two-home run game July 21 against the Los Angeles Angels. Napoli finished 1-for-4 with a home run and three strikeouts.
Attendance update: The Rangers eclipsed the 2 million mark in attendance in their 46th home date, making 2012 the fastest year for the club to reach that mark. Attendance Monday at Rangers Ballpark was 44,132. Read more here. There are 6,500 seats still available for Tuesday's game and 5,000 left for Wednesday's finale.
Tues. vs. Bos.: LHP Martin Perez vs. RHP Clay Buchholz (8-3, 5.19 ERA), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW.
Wed. vs. Bos.: LHP Derek Holland (6-5, 4.84 ERA) vs. RHP Josh Beckett (5-8, 4.53 ERA), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss a hypothetical Jurickson Profar for Cliff Lee trade, how he would handle Profar's playing time with the Rangers and more.
Play Podcast Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus joins Galloway & Company to discuss having Scott Boras as his agent, his new contract and having Jurickson Profar in the lineup.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss Yu Darvish's pitch count and how he spends time in the clubhouse during weather delays.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news.
Play Podcast Reid Ryan joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his new position with the Houston Astros and whether he could see his dad, Nolan, joining him there in the future.
Play Podcast ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss if the Rangers are the best team in baseball, what makes them so good and if he thinks the team will trade Jurickson Profar.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
- There are no games scheduled for today.