In a cruel twist, Pierzynski on Sunday came up with the most damaging blow to the left-hander in the Boston Red Sox’s 5-2 victory over the Rangers at Globe Life Park.
With Ross needing just one more out to wiggle out of the first inning down only 1-0, Pierzynski lined a two-run single for a 3-0 Red Sox lead.
Pierzynski fouled off several two-strike pitches before finding one to his liking.
“He’s a good hitter,’’ Ross said. “Fouling pitches off, that’s what he does. Good hitters do that. They get their bat on the ball until they get their pitch.’’
Ross said he doesn’t think that because Pierzynski caught so many Ross pitches last year, the catcher had an advantage in the matchup. (Pierzynski flied out to left field in two later plate appearances against Ross.)
“I knew how I wanted to pitch him,’’ Ross said, “and maybe if I had gotten that pitch off the plate, he fouls it off.’’
Pierzynski put in his two cents.
“I know Robbie from playing here last year,” Pierzynski said. “He’s got a good little slider and a good cutter, and I was just looking for something out over the plate. And luckily it was up and I was able to get it to the outfield.’’
Earlier in the inning, with a runner at third and one out in a scoreless game, Texas chose to intentionally walk David Ortiz to set up a double play.
Mike Napoli crossed up the strategy with an RBI double.
Ross agreed with the intentional walk.
“If I make a pitch and get a double play, they don’t score,’’ he said.
Rangers manager Ron Washington didn’t second-guess his strategy and said the Ross pitch to Napoli was “up in the zone.’’
Pierzynski said he wasn’t surprised by the intentional walk because Ortiz has been swinging a hot bat.
“It’s just something you don’t normally see,’’ Pierzynski said. “Usually with a left-hander on the mound in the first inning, you usually try and get that guy out and hold it to one; and if you don’t, you save yourself from a bigger inning. That’s what Wash felt was right and you can’t fault him. He’s the manager and he knows what he’s doing.’’
Perez to DL?: After the game, the Rangers announced that an MRI of Martin Perez’s left elbow revealed inflammation. Perez will miss at least one start, and a trip to the disabled list is a possibility.
The Rangers already have used 37 players this season, tied with the Angels for the most in the majors. That number will increase with Nick Tepesch’s promotion from Triple-A Round Rock for his scheduled Wednesday start at the Houston Astros.
"There’s a lot of baseball left to play and that’s what we’ve got to focus on," said Washington. "We’ve still got 25 guys, and we’ll still put nine on the field every night and do the best we can.’’