Rangers sweep Red Sox with walk-off win
The Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the Red Sox with a 4-3, walk-off win Sunday afternoon in Texas. It was the first series sweep against the Sox this season and the first time they’ve lost three straight games at any point.
With the score knotted at three in the bottom of the ninth, Clayton Mortensen retired the first two hitters before Elvis Andrus singled and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Mortensen then intentionally walked Lance Berkman, setting the stage for Adrian Beltre. Beltre singled to right, scoring Andrus and giving the Rangers the walk-off win.
Although the game was decided by the bullpens, the two starters pitched very well. Jon Lester went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out seven. He pitched better than his line would indicate as he was rolling until the sixth, which saw him make one bad pitch, resulting in a two-run home run off the bat of Nelson Cruz. Yu Darvish was dominant as well, tying a career-high with 14 strikeouts in seven innings of work, throwing a career-high 127 pitches. He allowed three runs on just four hits.
David Ortiz did extend his hit streak to 25 games, dating back to last season, with a double in the first inning. He has hit safely in his first 12 games of this season, which is the longest streak in all of the majors. The Red Sox finished with just five hits on the afternoon.
The Red Sox will return home for a seven-game homestand beginning Monday night (7:10, NESN) when the Sox welcome the Twins for the first of a four-game series. Clay Buchholz will go against Twins right-hander Vance Worley.
What they’ll be saying: It was a rough weekend for the Red Sox going up against, arguably, their toughest opponent of the season thus far. The offense was the main issue as they only scored four runs in three games. Boston had opportunities to score in Sunday’s game as well as Saturday night’s loss, but it just couldn’t get the timely hit it needed … Lester looked much better than in his previous two outings, but he did labor in the sixth when his pitch count went above 100, which could have played a role in allowing the three-run homer to Cruz which tied the game … Darvish pitched as advertised, showing why he leads the league in strikeouts. His ability to change speeds is unmatched by anyone in the game and kept Red Sox hitters off balance all game long.