Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Boston 11, Rangers 5
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Colby Lewis struggled and the Red Sox jumped on the Rangers' bullpen too for an 11-5 victory. Adrian Gonzalez had two home runs -- both off Lewis -- to help the Red Sox beat Texas for the first time this season. Some quick thoughts (more to come from the clubhouse):
• Lewis just didn't have it. Command was the issue. His control wasn't bad, as he got ahead of hitters. But too many pitches were over the plate, allowing the Red Sox to put seven runs off him on nine hits. Lewis tried to throw every pitch he had, but couldn't do much early in the outing. When Lewis doesn't have his fastball location where he wants it, he can struggle and that's what happened.
• Lewis allowed two home runs -- both to Adrian Gonzalez. They totaled 806 feet. Lewis has allowed 30 homers this season, tops in the AL and second in the majors (Bronson Arroyo has 34).
• One positive for Lewis: He was still able to grind out six innings and save the bullpen for the rest of the series. That could be important for the club in the coming days with two more games in this series and then three straight against the Angels.
• The Rangers attempted to start a comeback with three runs in the third (after falling behind 6-0). Three consecutive singles loaded the bases for Elvis Andrus, who walked. Josh Hamilton and Michael Young both hit sacrifice flies to score runs.
• Hamilton's home run in the fifth was a solo shot, but the two batters in front of him nearly got on. Ian Kinsler hit a long fly ball toward the gap in left-center, but Jacoby Ellsbury made a nice running catch. Andrus thought he had an infield hit on a close play. Hamilton also made a nice defensive play, sliding in foul territory to make a catch against Josh Reddick leading off the fifth.
• The Rangers appeared ready to put even more pressure on the Red Sox in the sixth. They got runners on the corners with one out against John Lackey, but Yorvit Torrealba hit a 2-2 curve right back to the mound. Lackey fell off the front of the mound to get it, but threw to second from his knees to start an inning-ending double play.
• Ian Kinsler wins the alert award for the night. The Red Sox had runners and second and third with one out and the Rangers infield in. A ground ball to Mitch Moreland caused him to go to his right and then stare the runner down at third. Kinsler immediately hustled over to the first base bag so the Rangers got the out.
• The announced attendance on Tuesday was 25,705. That was just 491 more fans than the club's attendance for a Seattle game on Aug. 9. Outside of that Seattle game, Tuesday's attendance was the lowest since May 9 against Oakland (24,375). The fact that it's the first week of school and that it was 103 degrees at first pitch may have played a part in that. But it's surprising that more folks didn't attend a game involving the Red Sox, especially with the possibility of these teams facing each other in the postseason.
• Gonzalez's big night -- 3-for-4 with a walk, two HRs, three RBIs -- put his batting average at .346, giving him a larger edge over Michael Young, who was 0-for-2 with a walk and is batting .337. Young has still hit safely in 26 of the last 31 games.
• Before Tuesday night's game, Mark Lowe had worked seven scoreless innings in his past seven games with 10 strikeouts. But he ran into trouble in the eighth. He allowed both inherited runners to score -- they were charged to Darren Oliver -- and then gave up two runs of his own thanks to two doubles off the wall in left.
• Mike Napoli's 11-game hitting streak ended, but he did have two walks. Napoli hit .311 with three HRs and seven RBIs during the streak.
• Kinsler hit a solo homer with two outs in the ninth. It was his 21st homer of the season and his 59th RBI.