It was another late inning loss for the Rangers, as a three-run homerun from David Ortiz in the eighth pushed the Red Sox ahead of the Rangers 4-2.
The Rangers were ahead 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth, when pitcher Alexi Ogando started the inning off by walking Jackie Bradley Jr., who walked in all three at-bats today, and then gave up a single to pinch hitter A.J Pierzynski.
Neal Cotts came in to relieve Ogando, and with two-men on base, Big Papi came up to bat and cleared the ball over the right-field fence. The homer was reviewed to confirm that the ball was not foul, but the umpires confirmed the original call.
Starting pitcher Robbie Ross pitched well, and was able to do what he needed to do in order to keep the Rangers in the game. Through the five and a third innings Ross pitched, only one batter was able to hit the ball out of the infield, Ortiz who hit a double in the sixth and was the last batter Ross faced. Though Ross walked six and had a throwing error in the third that allowed Bradley Jr. to score, his start was a sign of even more improvements that we can expect as the season progresses.
Rangers' bats pailed in comparison to the ten runs that were scored yesterday, but a lot of that can be attributed to the pitching of Red Sox ace Jake Peavy. Mitch Moreland put the Rangers on the board when he hit a solo home run in the in the seventh to tie the game up. In the eighth, Elvis Andrus extended his MLB-high hitting streak to nine with a double, and was moved to third on a groundout by Prince Fielder, before scoring as Rios' hit a sacrifice fly to center that ended his also impressive hitting streak, but gave the Rangers' the go ahead run.
Though the Rangers were unable to use their bats and make one more comeback in the ninth, there is one very positive thing to note about the offense we saw today. Shin-Soo Choo continued to do what he does best, reaching base on three separate occasions, once with a double and twice with a walk. If the Rangers can learn to capitalize on a leadoff hitter who actually gets on base, runs could be a lot more frequent.
The series loss to Boston gives the Rangers a 4-5 record going into a ten game homestand, where seven of those games are against western division opponents. Yu Darvish makes his second start Friday and there is a chance Matt Harrison could return, as the Rangers' rotation slowly makes it's way back to normal.
The ten game homestand begins Friday as Darvish and the Rangers take on Scott Feldman and the Astros. Game time is 7:05 p.m. CT.