Texas Beats Boston In A Baseball Marathon Wednesday To Win The Series Against The Red Sox
BY: Dic Humphrey
Texas beat Boston 10-9 Wednesday afternoon in a marathon game that took 3:30 to play. The win clinched another series win as Texas took two of three in Boston and four of six on the road trip. The Rangers have run their August record to 6-2, a far cry from July, when they won just nine games in the entire month.
Wednesday’s finale was a topsy-turvy game, often typical of games played in Fenway Park. Texas actually never trailed, taking a 3-0 lead in the first. After Boston tied the game, Texas came back with three more in the fifth, and extended the lead to 9-5 going into the bottom of the seventh. Boston tied it again, but the Rangers got a run and three outs in the ninth inning to secure a 10-9 win.
Matt Harrison started, but was suffering from a stomach virus and couldn’t complete five innings. Roy Oswalt relieved and was again brilliant through the sixth. The roof caved in on him in the seventh though, as he never recorded an out and gave up the four Boston runs that tied the game at nine. Alexi Ogando followed Oswalt to the mound, and threw two scoreless innings allowing two hits to win his second game of the year against no losses. Joe Nathan earned his 23rd save by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
On the offensive side, the Rangers bombed Boston with four home runs. Geovany Soto hit his first as a Ranger, and Adrian Beltre had a pair of RBIs on a pair of sacrifice flies, including the ninth inning RBI that proved to be the game winner. Josh Hamilton hit one of those round-trippers, his 30th of the year. He had three hits and was a triple shy of the cycle. He’s showing signs of getting back to the form he flashed in April and May. He was 6-13 (.462) with a home run and five RBIs in the series.
The series opener was a clunker. Yu Darvish again did not pitch well in the starting assignment. Command was a problem as he again walked four batters, though he struck out nine. He did last 6.2 innings, but gave up six earned runs on 11 hits en route to a 9-2 Ranger loss. His record dropped to 11-8, and his ERA rose to 4.57. Michael Kirkman allowed the other three Boston runs in the eighth inning ballooning his ERA to 5.59.
Boston manager Bobby Valentine knows Darvish well, as he managed against him in Japan. After the game, he told MLB.com’s T. R. Sullivan, “I never saw him look like that. He wasn’t very good actually. His stuff was flat.”
David Murphy put the Rangers on the scoreboard first with a second inning single that plated Nelson Cruz. The game got away for good shortly thereafter though, as Boston struck for two runs in the third and three more in the fourth inning. Boston added four more runs before Adrian Beltre cracked his 19th home run in the ninth inning.
Game two was one of the best played games of the year. Ryan Dempster was magnificent, tossing 6.2 masterful innings. It would have been a shutout performance, except for an Ian Kinsler error that let in three unearned runs. The win for Dempster was his first ever as an American League player, and he became the 15th pitcher to record a win for Texas this season.
The bullpen was spotless in relief of Dempster. Joe Nathan earned his 22nd save. The offense was a solid joint effort. Five players had at least one RBI in the 6-3 win. Coming on the heels of poorly pitched games by Holland and Yu Darvish, and error filled offensive efforts in Kansas City, Tuesday’s game was like an oasis in the desert.
The Rangers record is now 65-45, the most wins and the best winning percentage in the American League. The 1999 team won 66 of the first 110 games, the only time in club history to have a better record at this point in the season. While Texas was toiling away in Boston, the Athletics were taking two of three from the Angels. The lead is now up to 5.5 games over Oakland (six in the loss column) and seven over Los Angeles (eight in the loss column). The magic numbers are down to 47 over the A’s and 45 over the Angels.
The Rangers are home for just a three game home stand this weekend against the Tigers. Texas is 5-2 against Detroit this year, including a 2-1 record in Arlington. This is “Alumni Weekend” as Texas honors their 40th anniversary all time team. Eric Nadel will be inducted into the Rangers’ Hall of Fame. The Friday and Saturday game times are 7:05 PM (Central), while Sunday’s is 2:05. The night games are already virtually sold out, as just obstructed view seats remain. 3,500 tickets remain for Sunday’s game. The pitching matchups for the series are:
Friday Scott Feldman (6-6, 4.52) vs. Max Scherzer (10-6, 4.72)
Saturday Derek Holland (7-6, 5.18) vs. Justin Verlander (12-7, 2.51)
Sunday Yu Darvish (11-9, 4.57) vs. Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.65)
- Mark Lowe retired the side on 10 pitches in his fifth minor league re-hab appearance for Round Rock Tuesday night. Nine of the pitches were strikes, and he struck out two of the three batters he faced. He is expected to be activated from the disabled list this weekend.
- With a save on Wednesday, Joe Nathan has converted 21 consecutive save opportunities, the longest active streak in the Major Leagues. It pulled him into a tie with Francisco Cordero (2004) for the club record.
- Yorvit Torrealba was placed on “release waivers”.
- Mike Napoli sat out the final two games of the Boston series with “left quad soreness”.
- The Rangers are 2-0 in games started by Ryan Dempster, while the Angels are 0-3 in games started by Zach Greinke.
- The Rangers finished with a 6-2 record against the Red Sox this season, including a 4-1 record in games played at Fenway Park.