ARLINGTON, Texas -- Sammy Sosa pumped his right fist triumphantly as he rounded first base. He crossed the plate with the fans chanting his name.
While Sosa is no stranger to home run trots, this was his first since 2005.
"It feels great. I fought my way up and I'm here, and I'm doing it," Sosa said. "I feel very happy, very pleased."
Sosa hit the first pitch he got from reliever J.C. Romero in the sixth inning into the left-center field seats for a two-run homer.
"I didn't think I had enough," Sosa said. "I guess I was wrong."
With the chants of "Sammy! Sammy!" getting louder after he rounded the bases, the former NL MVP and seven-time All-Star came out of the dugout for a curtain call, raising his helmet to the fans.
"The kids were real excited on the bench, we were too," said Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, who was Sosa's first minor league manager. "He's hard not to like. He brings a lot to the game. He's got something going. I told him it's going to get better as we go. ... He's got a lot of confidence. It's good to see that."
It was Sosa's first at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the 43rd different stadium where he has homered. That tied Ken Griffey Jr. and Fred McGriff for the most stadiums with a homer.
The last homer for Sosa was Aug. 4, 2005, a two-run shot at the Los Angeles Angels during his only season with the Baltimore Orioles.
Sosa's 409-foot drive came in a four-run outburst that put the Rangers up 8-3 right after Kevin Millwood (1-1) escaped the top of the sixth with the tying run on third base.
"It's huge," Millwood said. "For him to get off to a pretty good start and go ahead and get his first one out of the way this year, I think it's going to give him confidence, the players around him confidence and it's going to make other teams sit back and know that he's not going to be an easy out."
When Sosa was a rookie for the Rangers in 1989, they played in a different stadium and his only homer in 25 games was at Boston against Roger Clemens. Sosa was traded that season to the Chicago White Sox.
After sitting out last season, Sosa -- fifth on the career homer list and the only player with three 60-homer seasons -- signed a minor league contract with Texas. He made the team after hitting five homers in 17 games this spring.
"Right now, I'm just trying to get comfortable, get one or two hits a day," said Sosa, who is hitting .267 (4-for-15). "Everything is going to come and take care of itself."
After throwing 50 pitches the first two innings, allowing a run in each, Millwood threw only 54 more pitches and made it through six innings to avoid another 0-2 start in Texas. The right-hander allowed three runs and eight hits.
Tavarez, added to the rotation during the spring after it was announced that Jonathan Papelbon was returning to the closer's role, allowed four runs, six hits and five walks over four innings.
"The game plan was to get quick outs and attack," Tavarez said. "The first two innings I did that. My teammates gave me some support. I wasn't able to hold on and we lost the game."
Young never stopped running and slid headfirst into home, though a replay showed that catcher Jason Varitek may have brushed the runner with his diving, sweeping tag. But Young was ruled safe and credited with an RBI double -- Jerry Hairston, who had walked, scored easily. Drew was charged with a two-base error.
The Rangers then loaded the bases before Cruz had his tiebreaking two-run single.
Hairston led off the sixth with a double and scored a single by Mark Teixeira -- the switch-hitting slugger's first RBI. Sosa then homered before Cruz had another RBI single off Romero, who gave up hits to all five batters he faced.
Drew's RBI single in the first put Boston up 1-0, the fourth time in five games this season Texas allowed a run in the first inning. Julio Lugo had an RBI single before the Red Sox left the bases loaded in the second.
- When the game began, it was 38 degrees -- the Rangers' coldest home game since Rangers Ballpark in Arlington opened in 1994. It was 37 degrees in Boston at the same time.
- Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler missed the game because of a stomach flu.
- The announced crowd was 40,865, but there were a lot of empty seats because of the unseasonably frigid conditions.