Sox get off on wrong foot with loss to Rangers, 9-5


Sox get off on wrong foot with loss to Rangers, 9-5

By Sean McAdam

LEADOFF SPOT: Jon Lester had never before given up three homers in a single start. Daniel Bard hadn't allowed four runs in an outing since his rookie year.

So when both things happened Friday, you got the sense it wasn't going to be the Red Sox' day. And it wasn't as they dropped their regular season opener, 9-5 to the Texas Rangers in a slugfest.

Lester twice coughed up two-run leads, with the big blow against him a three-run homer by Mike Napoli in the fourth.

After David Ortiz tied the game with a solo homer in the top of the eighth, the Rangers responded right away with four runs in the bottom of the inning off Bard, including a pinch-hit two-run double by former Sox outfielder David Murphy. Murphy's opposite-field slice kicked up chalk on the left field line and gave the Rangers a lead they wouldn't lose.

Adrian Gonzalez, in his Red Sox debut, collected three RBI. Carl Crawford wasn't nearly a successful, going hitless in four at-bats with three strikeouts.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: David Murphy. The former Red Sox outfielder came off the bench to deliver a tie-breaking two-run pinch-hit double in the bottom of the eighth and put the Rangers ahead for good.

HONORABLE MENTION: Mike Napoli, a noted Red Sox killer while with the Angels, didn't do anything differently with his new team, belting a three-run homer off Jon Lester and adding a walk in the eighth to help set up Murphy's heroics.

THE GOAT: Daniel Bard. Bard was hit around for four runs in the eighth and was saddled with the loss. In 73 appearances last season, Bard gave up more than a run twice. The four runs off him tied a career high.

TURNING POINT: On a 3-and-2 pitch to Napoli, Bard threw a slider which missed, walking Napoli and setting the four-run inning in motion.

BY THE NUMBERS: David Ortiz had a game-tying homer off lefthander Darren Oliver. All of last season, Ortiz hit just two homers off lefties.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "We battled all day to stay in that game. It sucks to be the one that gives it away.'' -- Daniel Bard.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam