Sox take third straight from Tigers, 6-4

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Sox take third straight from Tigers, 6-4

BOSTON Jon Lester struggled early, giving up three runs over the first three innings to the Tigers, but he settled down to retire 10 of the next 12 batters he faced.The Red Sox offense also rebounded after being retired in order the first time through, to beat the Tigers, 6-4, for the third straight game.Lester went 6 23 innings, giving up four runs on 10 hits with no walks, seven strikeouts, and a wild pitch. He threw 120 pitches, 83 for strikes. It was his second outing this season without giving up a walk, along with a complete-game win against the Mariners on May 14.The Sox gave Lester four runs in the fourth. With two outs, Adrian Gonzalez hit a ground-rule double into the Sox bullpen in center, David Ortiz hit his 12th home run of the season into the seats in straightaway center, Kevin Youkilis singled, and Will Middlebrooks hit his sixth home run of the season, giving the Sox a 4-3 edge.With Marlon Byrds single after Middlebrooks home run, the Sox had five straight hits in the inning, one short of their season high for an inning, when they had six straight in the eighth inning against the Rays on April 13.But Lester was not involved in the decision. Leading 4-3, he left with two outs and a runner on second base in the seventh. Matt Albers, who came in to relieve, gave up a single to Andy Dirks. Miguel Cabrera, the next batter, sliced a pop down the right field line. Gonzalez, playing right, charged in to field the ball. But as he dove and tumbled the ball fell from his glove as the tying run scored, charged to Lester.Gonzalez made up for the in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Octavio Dotel in to relive Smyly, Daniel Nava walked and Mike Aviles singled. Gonzalezs second ground-rule double of the game scored Nava, putting the Sox ahead by a run.In the eighth, Kevin Youkilis led off with home run off the Sports Authority sign about the Monster in left field. It was Youkilis fourth home run of the season.Except for the Youkilis home run, the Sox scored all their runs in the game with two out.Albers got the win, pitching one-third of an inning, giving up two hits and a walk. His record is now 1-0 with a 2.11 ERA. Dotel took the loss for the Tigers. Alfredo Aceves recorded his 13th save of the season.

Quotes, notes and stars: Wright "today was tough"

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Quotes, notes and stars: Wright "today was tough"

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 10-3 loss to the Rangers:

 

QUOTES

* “On a night when he didn’t have the consistency to the knuckleball that we’ve seen from many of his starts, he went to his fastball a little bit more. [Against] a good fastball hitting team . . . He’s typically made good adjustments staying over the rubber to get his release point out front -- that wasn’t the case [tonight].” John Farrell said about Steven Wright struggling with his knuckleball in his 4.2 inning outing.

* “The ball was spinning a lot out of my hand. It was a little bit hard to grip the ball because the humidity. But it was the opposite -- it was real sticky. That’s the first time I’ve had that ever. But I still felt like I should have figured that out. It was one of those things where I think I started trying to hard . . . I was trying to the throw the kitchen sink at them but it wasn’t working.” Steven Wright said about struggling to find his knuckleball in the 10-3 loss.

* “It’s hard for me because you want to go out there and try and go as deep as you can to try to help the bullpen, but, you know, today was tough, a tough day for me.” Wright said on his disappointment with only going 4.2 innings.

 

 

NOTES

 

* Hanley Ramirez laced his fourth homerun in his last 11 games. In his nine career games at Texas, Ramirez has six homeruns.

* David Ortiz went hitless for the first time since June 12th. Boston’s designated hitter also hasn’t hit a home run since June 17th -- his third longest homerless spell of 2016.

* Xander Bogaerts scored his 57th run of the season, putting him one run behind Ian Kinsler -- the fourth highest total in the majors.

 

 

STARS

 

1) Adrian Beltre

The ex-Red Sox third baseman finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, a walk -- scoring the team high three runs.

 

2) Ian Desmond

Desmond laced his 13th homer of the season in his second at-bat of the game, sparking Texas’ offense with its first run of the game.

 

3) Elvis Andrus

Andrus ended Steven Wright’s day quickly with a three-run triple in the fifth inning, finishing 1-for-2 with two walks and a run.

First Impressions from Boston's 10-3 loss to Texas

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First Impressions from Boston's 10-3 loss to Texas

First impressions of the Red Sox 10-3 loss to Texas:

 

Steven Wright can’t be stellar every night.

Although it’s seemed like it lately, it’s just not possible -- especially with a knuckleball.

He wasn’t even that bad Saturday night. He just didn’t get any help from his defense in the fifth frame.

But there’s no denying he didn’t have his best stuff. But whatever the reason, he couldn’t find consistent command or movement from his knuckler and he gave up some hard hits as a result.

Did he receive a fate worse than he pitched? Yes. But what Boston saw from Wright in his Saturday start is there will be times his go-to pitch is off -- and there’s really no way to work around that.

 

Hanley Ramirez’s “timing issue” seems to be coming around.

Although he hasn’t necessarily caught fire, Ramirez hit another home run -- once again to right field.

He’s shown more patience at the plate, and not trying to pull every ball out of the yard.

Ramirez doesn’t have everything completely figured out, but his homeruns have been plenty valuable at this point.

 

Ian Desmond is no joke.

The newly converted centerfielder is 5-for-10 against Boston pitching this series with a run and two RBI.

The ex-Nationals shortstop has good pop and good speed still. He seems to be a lot more comfortable in his new home after hitting .233 for Washington last year with 19 homeruns -- hitting his 13th Saturday night.

 

For all the criticisms Boston’s bullpen has received, the Rangers’ is definitely worse.

Although there wasn’t the same miraculous comeback witnessed Friday night -- and Boston’s pen wasn’t particularly stellar in the loss -- the Ranger relievers did not look good in the second game of the series.

They put themselves into deep counts right away -- and was lucky Boston’s offense was off.

Boston’s bullpen has its faults -- no question -- but it’s not nearly as bad as the one in Texas.

 

The Red Sox unfortunately have to rely on Clay Buchholz Sunday.

The bullpen is beaten down once again. The righty is still fighting for his job, so this would be the best time for him to pitch competitively into the sixth inning -- and maybe even longer.

Saturday's Red Sox-Rangers lineups: Wright tries to stay on roll

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Saturday's Red Sox-Rangers lineups: Wright tries to stay on roll

Knuckleballer Steven Wright will try to stay on a roll, as will the Red Sox, as they continue their three-game series tonight (9:20) against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas.

Wright (8-4, American League-leading 2.01 ERA) faces Rangers right-hander A.J. Griffin (3-0, 2.94), in his first start since coming off the 15-day disabled list.

The Red Sox rallied to win the series opener 8-7 with a four-run ninth inning.

The lineups:

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Travis Shaw 3B
Bryce Brentz LF
Christian Vazquez C
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Steven Wright RHP

RANGERS
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Ian Desmond CF
Nomar Mazara LF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Prince Fielder DH
Roughned Odor 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Mitch Moreland 1B
Robinson Chirinos C
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A.J. Griffin RHP