Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Texas Rangers [Print without images]

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 6, Red Sox 3

By Bryan Dolgin



The Texas Rangers beat the Boston Red Sox, 6-3, on Wednesday night to complete the two-game sweep and extend their winning streak to six games. The win also means the Rangers have won all five of their road games. They are now 10-2 on the season, while the Red Sox drop to 4-8. Former Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia pinch hit in the ninth and lined into a double play to first baseman Brandon Snyder to end the game.

Just the beginning: The 10-2 record matches Bobby Valentine’s 1989 Rangers for the best 12-game start in Rangers history.

Road comforts: The Rangers' five wins to begin the road schedule are one shy of the most wins the Rangers have ever recorded to start a season away from home. They won their first six in 1989.

PODCAST
Rangers manager Ron Washington talks about the Rangers' 6-3 win over the Red Sox that completed a quick, two-game sweep.

Listen Listen
Leading off: Ian Kinsler led off the ninth inning with a single. He has hit safely in 19 of his last 20 games against the Red Sox.

The Natural: Josh Hamilton began the day leading the American League with a .413 batting average, and he boosted that average to .440. He singled the opposite way to left field in the first inning. He has hit safely in 11 of 12 games this season. Hamilton added an infield RBI single in the third off Josh Beckett for his 12th RBI of the season. Hamilton also singled in the eighth. In the field, Hamilton added a couple nice catches. He walked in the ninth and for the first time this season in his 52nd plate appearance.

Caught up: Catcher Mike Napoli gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead in the fourth with a two-run home run. He has hit four home runs in the last three games. He has hit more home runs against the Red Sox (14) than any other opponent in his career and has seven at Fenway Park. Napoli added two more RBIs with a bases-loaded double in the eighth to make it 6-2.

Starting rotation: The Rangers have never had a starting rotation win their first eight decisions of the season…until now. Derek Holland pitched seven innings, gave up four hits, two runs (both earned), walked three and struck out seven. He worked out of trouble in the first, fifth and seventh innings to improve to 2-0.

Dutch: Holland gave up a home run to a right-handed hitter for the first time this season. Kevin Youklis, who struck out four times Tuesday, hit the round-tripper. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Youkilis hit his first home run since last August 14 in the second inning vs. the Rangers. Last year, Holland gave up 19 home runs to righties and just three to lefties.

Dutch treat: Holland picked off his second baserunner of the season. He erased the lead-off single from Mike Aviles in the third.

On this date in 2009: The Rangers purchased the contract of Holland from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Backing out: Michael Young was not in the starting lineup due to stiffness in his back, but he was available to pinch hit.

Back in: Mitch Moreland returned to the lineup after missing three games coping with an abscessed tooth. He was the designated hitter and finished 0-for-3 with a walk.

Texan-powered battery: The Red Sox's battery featured a couple native Texans. RHP Josh Beckett of Spring, Texas, pitched seven innings and struck out seven Rangers. Beckett dropped to 1-2. Catcher Kelly Shoppach of Fort Worth and Baylor University reached with a walk and double.

Free pass: In the top of the eighth inning, Adrian Beltre was the first Ranger to draw an intentional walk this season. Later in the inning, Moreland drew another intentional pass.

In a pinch: Craig Gentry pinch hit for former Red Sox first-round pick David Murphy in the eighth. Gentry was hit in the foot by a Franklin Morales pitch to drive in a run with the bases loaded. That gave the Rangers a 4-2 lead.