Robbie Ross was underwhelming in another rocky start and the Texas offense recorded a hit in just three different innings en route to a 5-2 loss at the hands of the defending World Series champs.
The Rangers tallied three hits in the fourth and seventh innings but produced only one run in each as the Red Sox pitching staff minimized the damage done by the pink Mother’s Day edition Ranger bats.
"Sometimes you're going to get runs in, and sometimes you aren't able to," right fielder Alex Rios said. "Today it just happened at the worst times. You get guys on base and can't bring them in, it's part of the game."
Two former Rangers stung their old team in the first inning, as Mike Napoli doubled to the right field wall to bring home the first Boston run, and A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run single to give the Sox an early three-run advantage.
With one out in the second, Shane Victorino grounded into a run-scoring fielder’s choice to third. The Rangers failed to complete the inning-ending double play with the speedy Victorino hauling down the line.
At that point, dating back to April 30, Ross was mired in a stretch of 10.2 innings in which he had surrendered 20 runs (16 earned).
"I've come to the point where I need to start not focusing on things I can't control and putting pressure on myself when it doesn't need to be there," Ross said. "I had my two bad outings and let it come into this game, thinking that I need to be something else."
Ross gave up five hits and four runs through three innings before retiring 13 consecutive Red Sox hitters. The last hitter he faced, though, was Dustin Pedroia, who sent a 3-2 pitch over the 390-foot sign in left-center to give the the Sox their final three-run lead.
Ross threw a season-high 112 pitches Sunday.
"He had a rough first inning trying to get the ball where he wanted to, but after that I thought he threw well. He got us into the seventh inning," manager Ron Washington said.
Shin-Soo Choo launched a 411-foot home run into the Boston bullpen to lead off the fourth inning. Red Sox starter John Lackey had recorded three straight three-up, three-down innings to start the game. An Elvis Andrus first-inning single was erased by a double play.
Texas had a chance for more in the fourth. Prince Fielder singled and went first-to-third on a Rios single. Rios swiped second base to put two men in scoring position for Mitch Moreland, who entered the game as one of three Rangers hitting over .300.
Moreland would strike out to strand Fielder and Rios.
Mitch lofted an RBI double past a diving Jonny Gomes down the left field line for the lone seventh-inning run after Alex Rios singled and swiped second.
After a J.P. Arencibia single, Leonys Martin and Rougned Odor - each representing the tying run - struck out to end the threat.
Choo attributed the failure to bring runners home to a solid pitching performance from Lackey.
"He had good mechanics on the fastball and was able to throw his offspeed pitches for strikes," Choo said. "That's huge for hitters. He did a great job."
Texas went quietly in the eighth and ninth innings. Koji Uehara, another former Ranger, pitched a perfect ninth inning to record his ninth save of the season. To compare with Robbie Ross’s aforementioned 20 runs allowed over a 10.2-inning stretch in perspective, Uehara has given up 12 runs (11 earned) in 90 innings since joining the Red Sox last season.
The Rangers’ record drops to .500 on the season. They travel to Houston for a three-game set with the Astros beginning Monday.
"The last couple games are over," Rios said. "We can't think about those games, we have to think forward. We have to see what we can do to get better."