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Boston at Texas

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Boston (66-49) «0000020068110
Texas (64-50)200001100490

Red Sox score six in ninth to keep wild-card lead over Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Victor Martinez looks like he'll fit right in during another pennant race in Boston.

The transplant from Cleveland had his biggest hit since being traded to the Red Sox, a go-ahead double with two outs in a six-run ninth inning that gave Boston an 8-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.

The win extended Boston's lead over Texas in the wild card to 1½ games.

  Red Sox acquire SS Gonzalez from Reds

Boston needed Martinez's hit because pinch-runner Clay Buchholz was thrown out at home as the tying run after a double by Dustin Pedroia.

Buchholz, a starting pitcher, hesitated between second and third base when Texas left fielder David Murphy leaped to try to catch Pedroia's drive at the wall. Murphy quickly retrieved the ball and threw to Michael Young, whose relay beat a sliding Buchholz. The Red Sox ended up with runners at second and third, and Martinez followed with the go-ahead hit.

"I saw three pitches and finally got a fastball right down the middle and I got a good swing at it," Martinez said. "My teammates have made it easy for me to fit in."

Boston finished off Texas closer Frank Francisco with Jason Bay's RBI single and a two-run home run by J.D. Drew. Francisco (2-2), who blew his third save in 19 chances, gave up seven hits and six runs. It was the first time he's allowed more than four hits or four runs in 203 major league appearances.

"I don't want anyone at my locker so beat it," Francisco said.

The Rangers had won 72 straight games at home when leading after eight innings. The last time they blew such a lead was September 2007.

"It doesn't really affect us," said Young, who had a two-run homer and three RBI. "We have so much confidence in the back end of our bullpen. It's a fluke when this happens."

Red Sox reliever Takashi Saito (3-3) got the win after pitching a scoreless eighth. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth, an anticlimactic non-save situation after the drama the preceded it.

"When you think you've seen everything, you probably haven't come close," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "That was probably one of the more exciting innings I've been a part of."

David Ortiz, dropped to seventh in the batting order for the first time since May 24, 2003, ruined Kevin Millwood's chance for a third victory against Boston this season by wiping out a 2-0 deficit in the sixth inning with a homer off Eddie Guardado, a left-hander brought in to face him.

Millwood was replaced because wildness had caused him to burn through 110 pitches in 5 2/3 innings. He allowed three singles but walked five and hit a batter. He struck out four, leaving his ERA at 1.45 against Boston this season.

Millwood looked like he would survive the sixth when he got the first two hitters on four pitches. But a walk to Mike Lowell led to the call for Guardado, and Ortiz lined a 3-2 pitch into the Texas bullpen in right-center field.

Andruw Jones put the Rangers back on top at 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth with a bloop single off Jon Lester, who struck out the side in three of his six innings and finished with 11 strikeouts.

In the first inning, Lester walked Omar Vizquel and gave up Young's 20th home run before coming back to strike out the side. He did it again in the fourth and the sixth, when he finished his outing with consecutive strikeouts of Josh Hamilton, Hank Blalock and Murphy. Blalock struck out four times.

Hamilton went 2 for 3 with a walk in his first home game since the revelation that the All-Star with the inspiring comeback from drug and alcohol addiction had a drunken episode in an Arizona bar in January.

Notes

  • Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury, in a 4-for-17 slide, wasn't in the starting lineup. He pinch-hit for Nick Green in the seventh and stayed in the game in center.
  • Boston RHP Tim Wakefield will make a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket at Gwinnett on Saturday. Wakefield has been on the 15-day DL since July 21 due to a lower back strain.
  • The Rangers signed three draft picks: LHP Chad Bell (14th round), RHP Shawn Blackwell (24th) and OF Riley Cooper (25th).
  • Rangers RHP Brandon McCarthy had a strong rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma on Thursday night, but the timing of his return to the big leagues is still unclear. He's on the 60-day DL with a stress fracture in his right shoulder.
  • Rangers C Jarrod Saltalamacchia left the game in the fourth inning with numbness in his right hand. He was replaced by Taylor Teagarden.
  • The Red Sox designated INF Chris Woodward for assignment, clearing the way for SS Alex Gonzalez to join them after Friday's trade with Cincinnati.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Victor Martinez gets the Red Sox going in the dugout and on the field, keying a six-run ninth.  (AP)
Victor Martinez gets the Red Sox going in the dugout and on the field, keying a six-run ninth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

M. Young
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Boston

D. Ortiz
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Boston Red Sox
Josh Reddick, CF4000011 .188
    Chris Woodward, SS1000012 .225
Dustin Pedroia, 2B5120001 .299
Victor Martinez, 1B-C3112202 .284
Jason Bay, LF4111011 .259
J.D. Drew, RF5122013 .254
Mike Lowell, 3B3110212 .299
David Ortiz, DH3222201 .221
Jason Varitek, C4010024 .222
    Clay Buchholz, PR0000000 .000
    Casey Kotchman, 1B0000000 .277
Nick Green, SS1000102 .233
   a- Jacoby Ellsbury, PH-CF2111000 .298
Totals35811877  
a-grounded out for Green in the 7th
Batting
2B - Dustin Pedroia (34, Francisco), Victor Martinez (24, Francisco), David Ortiz (24, Francisco)
HR - J.D. Drew (13, Francisco), David Ortiz (16, Guardado)
RBI - Victor Martinez 2 (77), Jason Bay (82), J.D. Drew 2 (45), David Ortiz 2 (64), Jacoby Ellsbury (37)
2-OUT RBI - Victor Martinez 2 (24), Jason Bay (31), J.D. Drew 2 (20), David Ortiz 2 (29)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Lowell-Pedroia-Martinez, Pedroia-Green-Martinez
Boston Red Sox
Jon Lester 66333111 3.71
Daniel Bard 1111210 3.06
Takashi Saito (W,3-3) 1100010 3.00
Jonathan Papelbon 1100020 2.13
IBB - Byrd by Daniel Bard
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 117-72, Daniel Bard 24-11, Takashi Saito 15-10, Jonathan Papelbon 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 2-3, Daniel Bard 1-1, Takashi Saito 1-1, Jonathan Papelbon 1-0
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 25, Daniel Bard 6, Takashi Saito 4, Jonathan Papelbon 4
Texas Rangers
Omar Vizquel, 2B4130100 .301
Michael Young, 3B4113012 .317
Marlon Byrd, CF4110121 .282
Andruw Jones, DH3011122 .224
Josh Hamilton, RF3020111 .265
Hank Blalock, 1B4000045 .247
David Murphy, LF4010024 .272
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C1000001 .236
   a- Taylor Teagarden, PH-C2100113 .193
Elvis Andrus, SS3000020 .260
Totals32494515  
a-struck out for Saltalamacchia in the 4th
Batting
2B - Omar Vizquel (6, Papelbon), Marlon Byrd (35, Lester)
HR - Michael Young (20, Lester)
SF - Michael Young (3)
SH - Elvis Andrus (9)
RBI - Michael Young 3 (55), Andruw Jones (39)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - David Murphy 1
DP - Blalock-Andrus, Vizquel-Andrus-Blalock
Texas Rangers
Kevin Millwood 5.2311540 3.31
Eddie Guardado (BS,2) 0.1111001 4.32
Darren O'Day (H,15) 1000000 1.70
C.J. Wilson (H,9) 1000120 3.14
Frank Francisco (BS,3; L,2-2) 0.2766011 3.66
Jason Jennings 0.1000100 3.63
HBP - Bay (by Kevin Millwood)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 110-63, Eddie Guardado 8-5, Darren O'Day 15-8, C.J. Wilson 27-15, Frank Francisco 34-22, Jason Jennings 6-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 1-10, Eddie Guardado 1-0, Darren O'Day 1-2, C.J. Wilson 1-0
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 24, Eddie Guardado 2, Darren O'Day 3, C.J. Wilson 4, Frank Francisco 8, Jason Jennings 2
Game Information
Attendance - 40311
Game Time - 3:41
Temperature - 92
Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Angel Hernandez, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - James Hoye