BOSTON (AP) -- The Texas Rangers didn't want to give Boston too
much confidence going into the All-Star break.
"It's exciting to pitch well in this atmosphere because it
shows me I can get the job done in front of this type of crowd."
Cordero could be seeing more crowds like the one that filled
Fenway Park hoping to see the streaking Red Sox finish the first
half with an undefeated homestand. Instead, Texas snapped Boston's
five-game win streak to enter the All-Star break leading the AL
West for the first time since 1999.
The Rangers have a two-game lead over the Oakland Athletics in
the division. Boston leads the A's by one game in the AL wild-card
Alfonso Soriano homered and had a tie-breaking sacrifice fly off
Keith Foulke (2-2) in the eighth inning after Boston came back from
a 5-2 deficit to tie it. Eric Young went 5-for-5, and Kevin Mench
and Mark Teixeira also homered for the Rangers.
"It was an outstanding game of two teams saying, 'See you in
September," Young said. "We should feel good about how we
performed in the first half. Now we've got something to build on."
Cordero pitched two innings for his 27th save.
Cordero walked Bill Mueller to lead off the ninth, then got
pinch-hitter Manny Ramirez to pop up behind second base, where
Soriano made a nice play for the out. Pinch-runner Pokey Reese was
picked off first base and Damon reached on third baseman Hank Blalock's error.
Damon stole second and took third when the throw from catcher
Danny Ardoin hit him and rolled into the outfield.
Cordero struck Bellhorn out looking on a 3-2 pitch to end the
game. Replays showed the pitch low and away.
"That was horrendous," Boston manager Terry Francona said.
"That doesn't help us now."
The Rangers, who had a total of eight hits in losing the first
two games of the series, had 17 on Sunday.
Foulke entered a tie game in the eighth and gave up a leadoff
single to Rod Barajas followed by a double to Michael Young. Foulke
struck out Blalock before Soriano hit a sacrifice fly to left that
easily scored the go-ahead run.
Foulke allowed a run on four hits in two innings, walking one
and striking out two.
Texas took a 3-0 lead off Tim Wakefield in the second when
Teixeira hit a leadoff homer, Eric Young singled and then Mench
homered. Boston came within a run in the fourth when Ortiz hit an
RBI double and came around to score on a pair of groundouts.
But the Rangers made it 4-2 in the fifth on Soriano's homer and
5-2 in the seventh when he walked, took third on Brad Fullmer's
single and scored on Teixeira's sacrifice fly.
Ramirez was a late scratch from Boston's lineup with
tightness in both hamstrings, but he's expected to start in
Tuesday's All-Star game. ... OF Ellis Burks made his way around the
Red Sox clubhouse Sunday without crutches for the first time since
Thursday's follow-up surgery on his left knee. He's expected to
miss another six-to-eight weeks. ... Damon's homer took Wakefield
off the hook for the loss. Wakefield allowed five runs on 12 hits a
walk and a hit batter in six-plus innings, striking out five. It
also cost Texas' Ryan Drese his first victory in four starts. He
gave up two runs on four hits, a walk and a hit batter and struck
out three. ... Boston is in second place at the break for the
fourth consecutive year, and the sixth time in seven seasons.