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The Rangers didn't score 18 runs this time around, but they didn't need to. Derek Holland gave up two earned runs over seven innings and some late offense helped the Rangers pull away for a 6-3 victory Wednesday night and a two-game sweep of the Red Sox.
Holland gave up four hits and three walks, striking out seven. His two earned runs came in the second inning as Boston took an early 2-0 lead. Texas responded with a run in the following inning on an RBI infield single by Josh Hamilton. Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer in the third inning to give Texas a lead it would not give up.
In the top of the eighth, Craig Gentry was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score one run and Napoli doubled to score two more. Napoli went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and a run scored. Hamilton went 3-for-4 with one RBI and a run scored. Joe Nathan gave up a run in the bottom of the ninth, but closed out the game. The Rangers have won six games in a row and will finish up the road trip with a four-game series in Detroit beginning Thursday.
A night after the Texas Rangers gave the Red Sox a beat down for the ages, Boston manager Bobby Valentine has opted to shake up his lineup in hopes of salvaging a split with the Rangers in the brief, two-game series.
Here are the starting lineups for tonight's game:
Josh Beckett, SP
Ross batting cleanup is a far cry from Red Sox lineups that we've seen in the past. It seems like the Rangers have a good opportunity to complete the two-game sweep in Boston.
For more on the Rangers, head over to Lone Star Ball.
After their dominant 18-2 beating of the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night, the Texas Rangers will try to sweep their two-game swing through Fenway Park on Wednesday night when Derek Holland takes the mound against Josh Beckett.
Holland has had a strong start to the season, as the left-hander has struck out 13 and walked only 3 while giving up 5 earned runs in 13.3 innings.
Beckett, meanwhile, has pitched to boos at home due to his role in last season's infamous chicken and beer incident in Boston's clubhouse. The Texas native is still an incredibly talented pitcher, but he's become more inconsistent as his career as has gone on; this year, he has given up 8 earned runs in 12 innings with only 4 strikeouts.
The Rangers offense had their best game of the season on Tuesday, hitting six HR's and straining the Red Sox bullpen by chasing Jon Lester after only two innings.
The 6:10 PM game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.
In their first test against a supposedly good team, the Rangers dominate the Red Sox in every facet of the game.
Before an out had been recorded, the Rangers were down 2-0.
From that point on, it was all Texas.
Late game replacement Alberto Gonzalez was the only Ranger to fail to reach base. Every starter -- as well as David Murphy who started on the bench -- contributed a base hit to the effort. There were 21 total hits from the Rangers, and they even threw in eight walks, one from Brandon Snyder, also starting on the bench.
On the other end, Colby Lewis recovered from his early home run allowed to shut the Red Sox down completely. After the first two hits, Lewis pitched seven innings with just two more hits, seven strikeouts, and not a single walk or additional earned run.
The win moves the Rangers to 9-2, putting them 4.5 games in front of the Angels pending LA's on-going game in Oakland. Texas's run differential sits at +36 following the game, 13 ahead of the next best comer in baseball (St. Louis).
Ron Washington couldn't have asked for a better start from the Rangers tonight. After falling behind 2-0 after the first inning, thanks to a Dustin Pedroia two-run home run, the Rangers have scored seven unanswered runs, chasing Red Sox ace Jon Lester from the game after just 2+ innings of work.
Texas scored four times in the second inning. Mike Napoli hit a towering two-run home run over the green monster, tying the game up at two. After a walk to Yorvit Torrealba, Lester gave up a single to Craig Gentry. Ian Kinsler then drew a walk, loading the bases. Elvis Andrus would reach on an infield single, giving Texas a 3-2 lead before Josh Hamilton hit into a rare fielders choice to left field, which involved Cody Ross dropping a fly ball, but recovering to force Kinsler at third.
Lester wouldn't make it through the third. Nelson Cruz started the inning with a single before Lester walked Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba. Bobby Valentine finally decided to end Lester's miserable night, bringing in Scott Atchison. All three runs would come around to score.
After a shaky first inning, Colby Lewis has settled down nicely. Through three innings, Lewis has allowed two runs on five hits, while striking out four and walking none. He's thrown 60 pitches through the first three frames.
Needless to say, things bode well for the Rangers tonight -- and tomorrow as well, after digging into Boston's bullpen so early.
Thanks to the Jacoby Ellsbury injury, Lewis only has a lineup of two lefties to deal with -- Gonzalez and Ortiz -- as well as switch-hitting Saltalamacchia, who does unfortunately hit better from the left side.
The Texas Rangers will visit the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night for the first game of a short two-game series. The Rangers are perfect 3-0 on the road so far this year and hope to keep that streak going. The Red Sox have struggled mightily early in the season and the Rangers will look to take advantage. The powerful Texas lineup will certainly enjoy the homer-friendly confines of Fenway Park.
Taking the mound for the Rangers Tuesday night is Colby Lewis, who enters the game with a 1-0 record and a 1.42 ERA. He'll go up against Boston's Jon Lester, who holds an 0-1 record with a 2.40 ERA.
The game will begin at 7:10 p.m. ET and will be televised on FOX Sports-SW and the MLB Network. You can head the radio broadcast on 103.3 ESPN.
For all news and information regarding the Texas Rangers, please visit Lone Star Ball. For updates and perspective on the Boston Red Sox, head on over to Over the Monster or check out SB Nation Boston.
Marc Normandin of Baseball Nation and Over the Monster helps preview the Rangers/Red Sox series, which gets underway on Tuesday night.