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Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 13, Rangers 2

By Richard Durrett


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Matt Harrison struggled from the get-go, allowing seven runs in five innings as the Red Sox pounded the Rangers. Texas wasn't able to do much of anything off Josh Beckett and it was simply an ugly all-around game from the Rangers' perspective. They'll wait to see how the Angels do tonight. If the Angels win, it's a 2 1/2-game lead. If they lose, Texas will stay 3 1/2 in front. Some quick thoughts (more to come from the clubhouse shortly):

* For the second straight night, the Red Sox scored at least 11 runs off Rangers pitchers. Texas has now lost five of its last seven.

* Harrison couldn't seem the get the ball down in the first and gave up four runs on five hits. Boston came out ready to swing and the left-handed hitters were successful. Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz and Carl Crawford all had singles off Harrison. Crawford's triple scored two runs.

* Left-handed hitters ended up 6-for-10 with four RBIs (5-for-5 to start the night) against Harrison on Wednesday. They were hitting .289 against him coming into the game, much higher than the .242 he holds righties to.

* It's rare to see Ortiz score from first, but clearly his foot wasn't bothering him enough not to motor around on Crawford's triple in the first. The relay throw from Omar Quintanilla wasn't great and Mike Napoli wasn't able to keep his glove on it and tag Ortiz.

* Harrison got ahead of Adrian Gonzalez 0-2 in the second inning and then threw four pitches that really weren't close and walked him. Gonzalez scored on Dustin Pedroia's RBI single.

* Harrison's velocity was down a few clicks on Wednesday, as well. He was hovering around 89-91 mph and normally throws 91-94 or so.

* Josh Hamilton had a strange slide into second base in the first. He slid and then lifted his arm to try to get around the tag, which he did. He then flipped over his left leg to keep it on the base. It looked odd, but he was safe. Hamilton made a great defensive play in the fifth, throwing a bullet on the money to second base to get Jason Varitek trying to stretch a single into a double.

* Bat Boy McCoy, a break-dancer, made his debut after the third inning on top of the Rangers dugout. The players seemed perplexed, but enjoyed it. He got a nice hand. We'll have more about him on the blog tomorrow.

* Shortly after Harrison began pitching in the first, the wind really kicked up as dark clouds were seen overhead (yes, dark clouds. I know, very odd). The temperature went from 104 degrees to 88 in one inning. I can't remember that dramatic a change that quickly at a ballgame. The game finished with the temperature at 84 degrees, 20 degrees cooler than when the game started.

* Mike Napoli stayed hot, drilling a home run in the fourth for the first hit and first run of the game for Texas. Napoli has 22 homers on the season and has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games and 23 of his last 27.

* Every Rangers pitcher except Mark Lowe (who pitched a perfect ninth) gave up runs. Yoshinori Tateyama gave up two runs in his lone inning of work. Darren O'Day, called up on Wednesday, surrendered four runs on three hits with five strikeouts in two innings.

* Crawford's five RBIs tied a career-high. He had a sac fly, two-RBI double and two-run homer.

* The announced attendance was 30, 724.

* Omar Quintanilla is hitless in his last 17 at-bats.