Rangers Stifle Sox Again
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey (41) throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Arlington, Texas — Craig Gentry had an infield hit that produced two runs and later hit a two-run homer as the Texas Rangers beat the Boston Red Sox 5-1 last night.
The Rangers broke a 1-1 tie and went ahead to stay on the speedy Gentry’s infield hit in the fourth. He added his first homer in the eighth.
Alexi Ogando (3-2) pitched into the seventh inning for his first victory in five starts and the AL West-leading Rangers (19-11) clinched the series against the Red Sox (20-10), who still have the best record in the majors even after losing the first two games.
Ian Kinsler hit the first pitch thrown by John Lackey (1-2) into the left-field seats for his sixth homer this season, and 28th career leadoff shot.
The Rangers had the bases loaded with two outs in the fourth when center fielder Gentry hit a hard chopper. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks fielded the ball cleanly and made a strong throw that was a bit wide of first base, though Gentry clearly beat it. A second run scored on the throwing error when the ball got away from first baseman Mike Napoli.
Ogando struck out four and allowed one run in six-plus innings. The right-hander, who won his first two starts of the season before going 0-2 the last four, was gone after allowing a leadoff single to Middlebrooks in the seventh.
Rangers closer Joe Nathan, the third Texas reliever, worked a perfect ninth for his first appearance in eight days.
Lackey made his second start since coming off the disabled list because of a right biceps strain and winning in his return last Sunday. He hasn’t won consecutive starts since 2011, and has had plenty of struggles against the Rangers — he has a 6.01 ERA in his 37 career starts against Texas, the most by any active pitcher.
The big right-hander, a Texas native, allowed three runs and six hits over five innings. He struck out four and walked three.
On Kinsler’s leadoff homer, left fielder Daniel Nava was a long way in front of the 14-foot wall when he stopped, held his hands out and seemed totally confused while looking up for the ball. It landed several rows deep in the stands, an estimated 402 feet from home plate.
David Ortiz had a leadoff double in the second for the Red Sox, extending his majors-best hitting streak to 24 games, dating back to last season. He scored on a single by Nava to tie the game at 1.
Notes: The Red Sox had won their first four road series this season. ... Yu Darvish (5-1) starts the series finale for Texas, against left-hander Jon Lester (4-0). ... Kinsler’s homer extended his hitting streak to 10 games, second-longest in the AL — to Ortiz. ... Red Sox RHP Craig Breslow threw a nine-pitch perfect inning for Triple-A Pawtucket yesterday and could be activated during a seven-game homestand that starts tomorrow. Breslow has been on the disabled list with left shoulder tendinitis since March 31.
Yankees 4, Athletics 2
New York — Phil Hughes pitched eight shutout innings of four-hit ball for his first win of the season, and New York beat Oakland.
Chris Stewart and Lyle Overbay homered against Bartolo Colon, sending the A’s to their only loss in the right-hander’s six starts this year. Hughes (1-2) struck out nine and outpitched his former New York teammate for his first victory since Sept. 20 against Toronto.
Oakland has dropped 10 of 15 after opening the season 12-4.
Mariners 8, Blue Jays 1
Toronto — Dustin Ackley hit his first career grand slam, Michael Saunders homered twice and the Seattle Mariners roughed up Cy Young knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, beating struggling Toronto.
Indians 7, Twins 3
Cleveland — Scott Kazmir earned his first victory in three seasons, Nick Swisher homered in his first at-bat since missing three games with a sore shoulder and the Indians beat Minnesota for their sixth straight victory.
Kazmir (1-1), a two-time AL All-Star who pitched in an independent league last season, allowed two runs in six innings. It was his first win since beating Tampa Bay on Sept. 19, 2010, while with the Angels.
Royals 2, White Sox 0
Kansas City, Mo. — Jeremy Guthrie ran his unbeaten streak to a club record 17 consecutive starts with a four-hitter in the Royals’ victory over Chicago. Guthrie is 9-0 in the 17 starts, which started Aug. 8, 2012, against the White Sox.
Tigers 17, Astros 2
Houston — Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs and tied a career with six RBIs to lead the Tigers’ mauling of Houston. Max Scherzer (4-0) won his fourth straight to begin the season, allowing one run on three hits and striking out eight in eight innings.
Reds 6, Cubs 4
Chicago — Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco each had a sacrifice fly in Cincinnati’s four-run eighth inning, and the Reds rallied for a victory over Chicago. Cincinnati had just one hit in the decisive rally, but took advantage of another woeful outing by reliever Carlos Marmol to secure its first winning road series of the season.
Cardinals 7, Brewers 6
Milwaukee — Jon Jay homered and drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth and Allen Craig and Daniel Descalso each hit home runs to lead St. Louis over Milwaukee.
Nationals 5, Pirates 4
Pittsburgh — Stephen Strasburg struck out eight in seven innings and Washington won a game he started for the first time since opening day by beating Pittsburgh.
Marlins 2, Phillies 0
Philadelphia — Jose Fernandez pitched one-hit ball and struck out nine in seven dominant innings, getting his first major league win in the Marlins’ victory over Philadelphia.
■ The Los Angeles Dodgers put shortstop Hanley Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left hamstring.
The Dodgers made the move yesterday, a day after he hurt himself running the bases. Infielder Dee Gordon was called up from Triple-A Albuquerque.
Ramirez was injured while trying to go from first base to third in the sixth inning of Friday night’s 2-1 loss at San Francisco.
The 29-year-old Ramirez was reinstated from the DL on Monday after surgery on his right thumb. He started the season on the disabled list after being injured during the World Baseball Classic.