ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- The Texas Rangers resorted to
fundamental smallball to break a long scoreless streak by Boston's
Hank Blalock's sacrifice fly sent home the go-ahead run, after a
couple of hit-and-run plays produced the tying run, and the Rangers
won 4-3 in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday night to end
Boston's six-game winning streak.
Boston's bullpen went 32 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings in
the previous 11 games before relievers Mark Malaska (1-1) and Scott
Williamson were charged with runs in Texas' three-run seventh.
"I don't think any of our hitters knew that they had a streak
going or how good they've been doing," said David Dellucci, who
executed a hit-and-run after Eric Young was hit by a pitch. "We're
not intimidated by anybody. We're very aggressive."
Red Sox starter Bronson Arroyo hit Young for the second time to
start the seventh, then Malaska faced only Dellucci, the runner
Blalock drove home to make it 3-2.
Young scored on a single by Gerald Laird, who greeted Williamson
by hitting an 0-2 slider on what manager Buck Showalter actually
called a run-and-hit play.
Boston relievers hadn't given up a run since April 17 against
the New York Yankees. It was the longest scoreless streak in the
majors since St. Louis' 34 in a row in 2002.
"I was hoping it could go all year," manager Terry Francona
said. "Even as good as they are, you knew they'd give up a run
Arroyo held the Rangers, the best-hitting team in the majors, to
three hits in six-plus innings and struck out five. But he walked
two and Eric Young scored both times after being hit.
"Two times against Young, I was trying to throw fastballs down
and away," Arroyo said. "I don't have any idea what happened. It
really sparked them."
Erasmo Ramirez (1-1), the second of four Texas pitchers, pitched
a perfect seventh against Boston's 1-2-3 hitters. Francisco Cordero
allowed an RBI double to Johnny Damon in the ninth before finishing
for his eighth save in as many chances.
The Red Sox played their second doubleheader in three games.
They swept Tampa Bay at Fenway Park on Thursday before the opener
of their three-game series at Texas was rained out Friday night.
Pedro Martinez, who says he will test the free-agent market
after this season, was the Red Sox starter for the second game. The
right-hander was supposed to pitch Saturday night, and Boston held
him back to let Arroyo, Friday night's scheduled starter, pitch the
Francona said Martinez's intentions wouldn't be a distraction
"even for one minute" for the AL East-leading Red Sox. General
manager Theo Epstein said the primary focus remains trying to build
a team that can compete for and win a World Series.
The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the fourth after four hits and a
walk from the bottom of the order to start the inning. Kevin Millar
was thrown out trying to stretch a single before Mark Bellhorn hit
an RBI double and Pokey Reese a run-scoring single.
Those were the only runs given up by Texas starter Ryan Drese,
who allowed seven hits and five walks in six innings. He also
struck out five, including the first three of four strikeouts for
Manny Ramirez in his only plate appearances.
"We counted, Ryan had 40 foul balls, that really drove his
pitch count (118) up," manager Buck Showalter said. "That says
something about his stuff. His outing was key. He hung in there."
After allowing two base runners in the first, Arroyo retired 11
straight before hitting Young in the fifth. Eric Young scored the
first Texas run on Michael Young's groundout.
The last time Ramirez had four strikeouts in a game was
July 23, 2002, in the second game of a doubleheader against Tampa
Bay. ... The Red Sox are 2-2 in Arroyo's starts, including two wins
over the Yankees in which the right-hander got no-decisions.