The 22-26 Red Sox were looking to continue their offensive success against Rangers starter Yovani Gallardo (4-6, 4.13 in ten games, all starts) who the Red Sox beat 4-3 on May 19 at Fenway, surrendering two homers among ten hits and four earned runs over five innings. Taking the hill for the Red Sox was Steven Wright (2-1, 3.68) making his third start of 2015 (1-1, 3.18 in those starts). Timely hitting by the Rangers and the Red Sox porous bullpen were the keys to this 7-4 Rangers victory.
The Rangers got on the board first in the bottom of the second. Josh Hamilton crushed his first home run of the season to right field, a solo shot, to make it 1-0. After the Red Sox squandered a first and second one out chance in the top of the third, the Rangers tacked on another run in their half of the third. Adam Rosales doubled to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice advanced him to third, Wright uncorked a wild pitch that eluded catcher Blake Swihart to allow Rosales to score to make it 2-0.
The Red Sox evened the score at two in the top of the fourth. Hanley Ramirez singled and Mike Napoli walked after a nine pitch at-bat. The Red Sox caught a break when Brock Holt bounced a comebacker to Gallardo that looked like a certain double play. Gallardo didn’t get any outs when he bounced the throw to second, loading the bases with no outs. Xander Bogaerts put the Red Sox on the board with a sacrifice fly. Swihart followed with a single to right to tie the game. Rusney Castillo squelched the rally grounding into a double play to end the inning.
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Much like Red Sox starters throughout this season, Wright could not complete a shutdown inning in the bottom of the fourth. Wright was one strike away from finishing the inning when Hamilton pounded another home run to right field, in almost the same spot as the first one, to put the Rangers back on top, 3-2. Mookie Betts nearly tied the game back up in the top of the fifth, but Rangers centerfielder Leonys Martin robbed Betts of at least extra bases with a leaping catch at the center field wall.
The Rangers added to their lead in the bottom of the seventh. Red Sox righthander Alexi Ogando was victimized by some two out Ranger heroics. Mitch Moreland doubled to start the inning, but was picked off by Ogando. After a single and an out, rookie Hanser Alberto tripled to center field to make it 4-2. Martin followed with a single off Craig Breslow to push the lead to 5-2.
The Red Sox came back in the eighth with a two run opposite field home run by Ramirez, to cut the lead to 5-4. Once again, the Red Sox pitchers could not secure a shutdown inning. With two outs and no one on, a walk to Hamilton and single by Moreland off Breslow ended the lefty’s night. Robinson Chirinos followed with a double which was misplayed by substitute left fielder Carlos Peguero who was in the game because first baseman Napoli was thrown out and Holt had to move from left field to first base. Moreland was able to come all the way around to score making it 7-4. The Red Sox went in order in the ninth to go down to defeat, 7-4.
- Swihart had a hit, walk and RBI in the game. The rookie catcher has a hit in his last seven starts, going eight for 24 with four RBI. His season average is up to .224
- Six of Texas’ seven runs scored with two outs
- Betts stole his seventh base of the season
- Ramirez re-took the team RBI lead with 26. Betts is second with 25.
Wright was in control for most of his 5.2 innings in the game. He allowed three runs on five hits, walking one and striking out four. If he had been able to record one more out, it would have been a quality start. The two homers were one more than Wright had given up in his first two starts combined.
Layne was able to keep the score at 3-2 in the sixth inning by recording an out, but the rest of the relief corps could not get the job done. Ogando was charged with two runs, the second of which scored after Breslow could not record the final out of the seventh. Then when Breslow put two runners on in the eighth, he was charged with two runs after Matt Barnes came on to give up the final dagger Chirinos double.
Ramirez gets the award for his second home run in as many days. He also picked up a single and scored two runs on the day in addition to driving in two. The grade is low because the four runs had a lot to do with the key Gallardo error which allowed that first rally to net two runs The Red Sox were two for seven with RISP, but one of those was the homer. The Red Sox managed only four hits (six for the game) and one earned run in six innings off Gallardo whom they had knocked around for ten hits and four runs on May 19.