ARLINGTON, Texas -- Making a step up against better competition after a run of seven straight games against teams with losing records, the Red Sox were humbled by the Texas Rangers, 7-0.
The Rangers came into the game with the third-best record in the league behind the Red Sox, but outclassed them with the shutout. Derek Holland scattered five hits -- all singles -- across eighth innings while Adrian Beltre haunted his former team with a four-hit night which included a bases-loaded double in the fourth.
Boston had entered the night with a 7-2 record against lefty starters, having won their previous six games against opposing southpaws.
That Beltre double chased Felix Doubront, who allowed a staggering 12 hits in just 3 2/3 innings of work. The Rangers had eight hits through the first three innings, but managed just one run off Doubront.
The six runs off Doubront were double what he had allowed in any of his four previous starts before Friday night.
Alex Wilson and Clayton Mortensen combined for the 4 1/3 innings to finish out the night.
The loss dropped the Red Sox to 6-7 against teams with winning records this season. It also marked the first time that the Sox had dropped the first game of a series this season and the second time in which they were shutout.
STAR OF THE GAME: Derek Holland
Holland easily won the battle of lefty starters, tossing seven shutout innings, allowing just five hits -- all singles. Thanks to a couple of double-play balls, Holland faced the minimum four times in the first five innings.
HONORABLE MENTION: Adrian Beltre
The former Red Sox third baseman had four hits, including the biggest one of the night -- a bases-loaded double to left-center which scored three runs and brought an end to Felix Doubront's night.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Felix Doubront
Doubront pitched out of some early-inning jams, but the hits (and pitch count) eventually added up for him. He gave up five runs in the fourth, and left having allowed a staggering 12 hits in just 3 2/3 innings pitched.
TURNING POINT: The game wasn't quite out of hand in the fourth inning with Texas leading 2-0. But on a 3-and-2 pitch to Beltre, the game was effectively ended on a double to the gap in left-center field, turning a 2-0 game into 5-0 with one swing of the bat.
BY THE NUMBERS: Doubront is now 0-3 with an 11.40 ERA in six career outings against Texas.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "It's a little bit of a concern. Physically, he doesn't express any restrictions or tightness or soreness. If he did, he wouldn't still be going out there. Still, we know that his fastball lacks the consistent power we've seen in the past.'' - John Farrell on Felix Doubront's diminished velocity.