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Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 4, Rangers 2

4/9/2014

BOSTON -- Texas Rangers left-hander Neal Cotts finally lost a battle to David Ortiz.

Ortiz, 0-for-5 with five strikeouts in his career against Cotts, hit an 89 mph fastball over the wall in right against Cotts for a three-run home run as the Red Sox came back from down 2-1 in the eighth to win 4-2.

The Rangers took a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning after shortstop Elvis Andrus led off the inning with a double, coming around to score on an Alex Rios sacrifice fly two batters later. Reliever Alexi Ogando allowed the first two Red Sox hitters in the bottom of the eighth to reach base, both scoring on the Ortiz home run.

After scoring 10 runs on 13 hits Tuesday night, the Rangers were held to a season-low five hits by Red Sox pitching. The loss sealed a 2-4 record in the team’s first road trip of the season.

Wild, wild Ross: Making his second career start, Robbie Ross was effectively wild, walking six in 5 ⅓ innings pitched and allowing only two hits.

Ross threw 51 of his 98 pitches for strikes and battled control problems from the second inning onward. In the third inning, Ross walked back-to-back batters with one out before allowing a swinging bunt single to Dustin Pedroia. In an attempt to field the ball, Ross made a wild throw wide of first that allowed Jackie Bradley Jr. to come around and score the Red Sox’s first run.

A double by Ortiz in the sixth inning was the only ball that left the infield against Ross.

Signs of vintage Ogando: Ogando showed shades of his old self as the right-hander struck out four of the first five batters he faced, tying his career high in a relief outing.

However, Ogando was sent back out to the mound in the eighth after already throwing 1 ⅔ innings. Ogando walked the leadoff batter, Bradley, and allowed a pinch-hit single to A.J. Pierzynski to put two runners on with no outs. The next batter, Pedroia, grounded to short, but Andrus bobbled the ball, only getting one out on what should have been a double play. Washington pulled Ogando for Cotts to face Ortiz, who promptly hit a three-run home run to give Boston a 4-2 lead.

Ogando hit 96 mph on his fastball, virtually matching his average velocity from his 2010 rookie year (96.2 mph).

Moreland goes yard: Stymied by Red Sox starter Jake Peavy through the game’s first six innings, Mitch Moreland led off the seventh with a blast to right field, his first home run of the season. Before the homer, the Rangers had only two hits compared to seven strikeouts.

You’re grounded!: By getting the Red Sox to ground into double plays in the second and third inning, the Rangers raised their total in the series to 10, one short of the major league record for GIDPs by a team in a three-game series, according to data from the Elias Sports Bureau (SEA vs. MIN, April 13-15, 1979; ATL vs. CIN, June 23-25, 1975; SF vs. HOU, May 2-4, 1969).

Boston grounded into three double plays in Game 1 and five in Game 2.

All aboard the Choo Choo train: After reaching base four times in the Rangers' 10-7 win Tuesday night, Shin-Soo Choo doubled and walked twice in four plate appearances Wednesday. The outfielder has now reached base in 12 of his past 21 plate appearances.

Welcome back: Playing in his first major league game since September 28, 2011, Kevin Kouzmanoff, added to the Rangers hours before the game, hit a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning.

Up next: Following an off day Thursday, the Rangers return home to face the Houston Astros Friday night at 7:05 p.m. CT. Yu Darvish (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will take the mound looking to match his strong first outing against the Tampa Bay Rays last Sunday, while the Astros will send Scott Feldman (2-0, 0.66 ERA) to the hill.

The Rangers dominated Houston last year, winning 17 of their 19 contests and scoring nearly twice the amount of runs (126-69) the Astros did.