Texas at Boston

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Papelbon proves to be human in Red Sox win

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

BOSTON -- Jonathan Papelbon got another chance right away and did what he's been doing all season.

The rookie reliever recovered from his first blown save of the season with three strikeouts in the ninth inning to get the win, and Trot Nixon went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer as the Boston Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 4-3 on Friday night.

After the Rangers' tied it on Hank Blalock's RBI single off Papelbon in the eighth, Mike Lowell's sacrifice fly pushed Boston back in front in the bottom of the inning.

This time, Papelbon, who converted the first 20 save opportunities since he took over the closer's role this season, made sure he finished the job. He gave up a two-out single to Rod Barajas, but fanned Ian Kinsler to end it and lowered his ERA to a stunning 0.30.

"I took the ninth inning as a save opportunity even though it wasn't," said Papelbon, who pitched the ninth in a steady rain. "I knew it was all or nothing. It's a good lesson learned if you look at the way it turned out."

Coco Crisp went 3-for-4 with a double for the Red Sox, who played their first home game this month. Boston went 4-5 on its recent road trip.

"I guess statistically that's what it's considered," Boston manager Terry Francona said of the blown save, "but that's a pretty tough situation. The reason we got him is because Blalock is maybe one of the best fastball hitters in the league."

Craig Hansen gave up one-out singles to Gary Matthews and Michael Young in the eighth for Boston, and left with runners on first and third and two outs. Blalock then hit the game-tying single, a sinking liner to left-center.

`It was the first time I faced him," Blalock said of Papelbon. "He's got good life on his fastball."

Young hit a two-run homer for the AL West-leading Rangers.

Manny Ramirez opened the eighth with a walk against reliever Francisco Cordero (5-4) and moved to third on Nixon's single. Lowell followed with a fly to right. Kevin Youkilis then lined into an inning-ending double play.

Boston's Tim Wakefield, who has received the lowest run support of any starter in the majors this season, pitched seven strong innings, allowing two runs and four hits with one walk and six strikeouts.

"Unfortunately, the wins aren't in my column, but I feel like I've done my job as a starter to try and keep us in the game for a long period of time," Wakfield said. "The runs will come eventually.

Wakefield, 4-7 with a 3.93 ERA, had a number of easy outs, getting a combined nine by either soft popups or grounders.

"He definitely had the knuckleball working tonight," Texas DH Brad Wilkerson said. "He was keeping it down and it was dancing pretty good."

The Red Sox took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on Nixon's homer. Crisp and Mark Loretta opened the inning with singles. Vicente Padilla appeared to be working his way out of the jam by getting David Ortiz on a fly ball and striking out Ramirez, but Nixon homered into the Red Sox' bullpen.

Padilla gave up three runs and nine hits in seven innings with six strikeouts and one walk.

Texas cut it to 3-2 in the third on Young's two-run homer into the Monster seats after Matthews singled.


  • It was Nixon's ninth career four-hit game, tying his career best.
  • Rangers LF Kevin Mench was charged with an error when he picked up Crisp's fifth-inning single and had the ball slip out of his hand behind him when he was attempting to rush a throw to second.
  • Ramirez had his 1,000th career walk in the eighth.
  • After the game, the Red Sox optioned Hansen to Triple-A Pawtucket. They will recall highly touted LHP Jon Lester, who is scheduled to make his first major league start in the opener of a day-night doubleheader Saturday.
  • Rain was expected to reach the Boston area around 7 p.m. but didn't start until the eighth inning.
  • DeRosa made a nifty hesitation slide, reaching in with his right hand past Loretta's glove for his double.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Trot Nixon goes 4-for-4 with a three-run homer in the first inning. He raises his average to .318.  (AP)
Trot Nixon goes 4-for-4 with a three-run homer in the first inning. He raises his average to .318. (AP)

Players of the Game

M. Young
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

T. Nixon
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 1

Related Video

Texas Rangers
Gary Matthews Jr., CF4220010 .330
Michael Young, SS4122000 .318
Mark Teixeira, 1B3000102 .290
Hank Blalock, 3B4011001 .304
Kevin Mench, LF4000002 .289
Mark DeRosa, RF4010020 .344
Brad Wilkerson, DH4010021 .249
Rod Barajas, C4010012 .247
    Jerry Hairston Jr., PR0000000 .198
Ian Kinsler, 2B4000031 .313
2B - Mark DeRosa (18, Wakefield), Brad Wilkerson (9, Wakefield)
HR - Michael Young (4, Wakefield)
RBI - Michael Young 2 (37), Hank Blalock (43)
2-OUT RBI - Hank Blalock (23)
SB - Jerry Hairston Jr. (4, 2nd base off Papelbon/Mirabelli)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Kinsler-Young-Teixeira, Young-Teixeira, Cordero-Teixeira
E - Kevin Mench (1, misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Vicente Padilla 7933161 5.15
Francisco Cordero (L,5-4) 1111100 5.52
HBP - Cora (by Vicente Padilla)
Pitches-Strikes - Vicente Padilla 94-66, Francisco Cordero 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vicente Padilla 2-11
Batters Faced - Vicente Padilla 30, Francisco Cordero 4
Boston Red Sox
Coco Crisp, CF4130002 .306
Mark Loretta, 2B4110014 .292
David Ortiz, DH4000004 .256
Manny Ramirez, LF3100113 .301
Trot Nixon, RF4143000 .318
Mike Lowell, 3B3001012 .329
Kevin Youkilis, 1B3020101 .321
Alex Cora, SS2000002 .250
Doug Mirabelli, C3000032 .179
2B - Coco Crisp (3, Padilla), Trot Nixon (12, Padilla), Kevin Youkilis (16, Padilla)
HR - Trot Nixon (6, Padilla)
SF - Mike Lowell (2)
RBI - Trot Nixon 3 (33), Mike Lowell (32)
2-OUT RBI - Trot Nixon 3 (16)
Team LOB - 6
Boston Red Sox
Tim Wakefield 7422161 3.93
Craig Hansen (H,1) 0.2211000 13.50
Jonathan Papelbon (BS,1; W,1-1) 1.1200030 0.30
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Wakefield 95-67, Craig Hansen 7-6, Jonathan Papelbon 24-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Wakefield 6-9, Craig Hansen 1-1
Batters Faced - Tim Wakefield 26, Craig Hansen 4, Jonathan Papelbon 6
Game Information
Attendance - 36133
Game Time - 2:18
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Jim Joyce