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Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Defensive gems a key to victory

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers put together one of their best defensive games of the season Monday, helping them to a 4-0 win over Boston.

"Defense is important every night, but especially when you have a guy like C.J. [Wilson] on the mound who uses all his pitches to keep guys off-balance," Ian Kinsler said. "There's going to be balls that are put in play in-between, with ground balls to different sides. So it's important to be ready and make those plays."

Nearly every playable ball in the infield and outfield was made. And that included the pitcher's mound, where Wilson put on a clinic. He made two great plays, getting his glove down to stab a hard ground ball up the middle off the bat of Carl Crawford in the second and hustling off the mound to get to Darnell McDonald's chopper in the sixth. Wilson established a career high with five chances and tied a career high with four assists.

Josh Hamilton had a diving catch to rob Marco Scutaro of a hit to start the sixth inning, preventing a Red Sox rally from getting started.

And Kinsler had the play of the night to end the game. He sprinted to his right toward the second base bag, backhanded the ball and threw to first from his knees to get Crawford for the final out of the ninth.

"It's a reaction play," Kinsler said. "It's a hard-hit ball. You don't have time to think about it on a one-hop line drive. You just kind of go. You stick your glove out there and the ball goes in there and you hope to get enough time to throw a guy out at first. Carl runs well, so I knew I had to hurry up a little bit.

"Right when the ball was in my glove, I was going down to the ground and I could see I had it. At that point, I know I need to turn and throw and I just did it."