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Boston at Texas

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Boston (19-18) «310000100580
Texas (19-19)000100100271

Red Sox back above .500 with victory over Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Boston Red Sox right-hander John Lackey felt right at home, putting on his boots and a wide-brim cowboy hat after another solid outing.

With the Lone Star State native on the mound and a couple of former Rangers catchers getting run-producing hits, the Red Sox got a series-clinching 5-2 victory at Texas on Sunday. Boston is above .500 for the first time since three games into the season.

After A.J. Pierzynski and Mike Napoli provided a 3-0 lead before his first pitch, Lackey (5-2) struck out nine while allowing two runs over seven innings. The big right-hander threw 75 of 105 pitches for strikes without any walks.

"It's nice to go out there when you already have a 3-0 lead," Lackey said. "It kind of lets you relax a little bit and pound the strike zone."

A few teammates called out "country boy" and "cowboy" as he stood as his locker after the game. He was headed to his home in nearby Fort Worth, and planned to spend time Monday -- and off day for the Red Sox -- at his ranch.

"He threw the ball great," Pierzynski said. "We jumped on them a little bit early and got some runs. That kind of put it in cruise control. `'

Napoli put the Red Sox ahead to stay with an RBI double, two batters before Pierzynski's two-run single off Robbie Ross (1-4). Both went to Boston as free agents after being in Texas -- Pierzynski was the Rangers primary catcher last season, and Napoli was there the previous two years.

Koji Uehara, who also went from Texas to Boston in 2013, worked a perfect ninth for his ninth save in a row.

The Red Sox (19-18) won the last two games in the series after being held to one hit by Yu Darvish Friday night. They have won six of their last eight games, including their last three series, and have a winning record for the first time since winning two of three in the season-opening series at Baltimore.

"It's probably as much about the series, not so much the overall record," manager John Farrell said. "It's encouraging to see on day three when you've got a chance to either sweep or win that rubber game, we've been able to put together a very good effort."

Shin-Soo Choo homered for the Rangers, who have lost 10 of 14 overall and dropped seven of their last nine home games.

Ross made it through 6 2-3 innings and a career-high 112 pitches, settling down after being down 4-0 after two innings.

"He had a little rough first inning, trying to get the ball where he wanted to. But after that I thought he settled down and pitched well," manager Ron Washington said. "I like his recovery."

Dustin Pedroia's two-out solo homer in the seventh chased Ross, and was the first Red Sox hit since Jonny Gomes' one-out single in the third.

Ross faced the minimum 13 batters between that, with only one runner reaching on an error being wiped out on a double play grounder.

It was the second homer for Pedroia, who led off the game with a double before Napoli drove him home.

Lackey made his 20th road start against the Rangers, surpassing Seattle's Felix Hernandez for the most. Lackey is 14-15 overall with a 5.71 ERA in his career against Texas -- those are his most losses and highest ERA against any AL team.

Choo's fourth homer was an opposite-field shot to left-center in the fourth to make it 4-1. Mitch Moreland had an RBI double in the seventh before Lackey struck out his final two batters with two runners on base.

Notes

Boston is 10-4 against left-handed starters. ... This is the earliest Boston and Texas have completed a season series, which the Red Sox won 4-2. The Rangers had won the series each of the previous five seasons. .... Texas is 31-18 vs. Boston since 2009. ... Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks was scratched with soreness in his right hand after being hit by a pitch Saturday night. The Red Sox said it was a precautionary move and expect him to be available for their next game Tuesday. ... Napoli has reached base in 31 consecutive games. ... Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre, shifted toward shortstop, made a back-handed scoop catch after running a long way for David Ortiz's popup near the foul line to end the second.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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John Lackey strikes out nine over seven innings of work as the Red Sox move back above .500.  (USATSI)
John Lackey strikes out nine over seven innings of work as the Red Sox move back above .500. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Boston

J. Lackey
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 2
BB 0
K 9
Boston

D. Pedroia
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4221101 .289
Shane Victorino, RF3001000 .273
David Ortiz, DH3110102 .267
Mike Napoli, 1B4111021 .274
Jonny Gomes, LF4010013 .225
A.J. Pierzynski, C4012002 .277
Xander Bogaerts, SS4010012 .252
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF4110010 .218
Jonathan Herrera, 3B3000011 .184
John Lackey, P0000000 .000
   Andrew Miller, P0000000 .000
   Koji Uehara, P0000000 .000
Totals3358526  
Batting
2B - Dustin Pedroia (14, Ross), Mike Napoli (8, Ross), Jackie Bradley Jr. (10, Ross)
HR - Dustin Pedroia (2, Ross)
SH - Shane Victorino (1), Jonathan Herrera (3)
RBI - Dustin Pedroia (12), Shane Victorino (8), Mike Napoli (21), A.J. Pierzynski 2 (18)
2-OUT RBI - Dustin Pedroia (4), A.J. Pierzynski 2 (8)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Bogaerts-Pedroia-Napoli
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
John Lackey (W,5-2) 7722091 3.57
Andrew Miller (H,1) 1000020 1.69
Koji Uehara (S,9) 1000020 1.15
HBP - Andrus (by Andrew Miller)
Pitches-Strikes - John Lackey 105-75, Andrew Miller 15-9, Koji Uehara 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lackey 5-6, Koji Uehara 1-0
Batters Faced - John Lackey 27, Andrew Miller 4, Koji Uehara 3
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Shin-Soo Choo, LF4111030 .333
Elvis Andrus, SS3010000 .257
Adrian Beltre, 3B4000012 .233
Prince Fielder, 1B4010001 .226
Alex Rios, RF4120010 .315
Mitch Moreland, DH4011032 .301
J.P. Arencibia, C3010020 .132
   a-Michael Choice, PH1000010 .233
Leonys Martin, CF3000012 .285
Rougned Odor, 2B3000012 .167
Robbie Ross, P0000000 .000
   Jason Frasor, P0000000 .000
   Neal Cotts, P0000000 .000
   Alexi Ogando, P0000000 .000
Totals33272013  
a-struck out for Arencibia in the 9th
Batting
2B - Mitch Moreland (6, Lackey)
HR - Shin-Soo Choo (4, Lackey)
RBI - Shin-Soo Choo (11), Mitch Moreland (13)
SB - Alex Rios 2 (7, 2nd base off Lackey/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Beltre-Andrus-Fielder
E - Prince Fielder (4, Missed catch of throw)
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Robbie Ross (L,1-4) 6.2655231 5.04
Jason Frasor 1100020 1.38
Neal Cotts 1100010 5.27
Alexi Ogando 0.1000000 8.10
IBB - Ortiz by Robbie Ross
Pitches-Strikes - Robbie Ross 112-73, Jason Frasor 15-10, Neal Cotts 17-11, Alexi Ogando 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Robbie Ross 11-6, Neal Cotts 1-1, Alexi Ogando 1-0
Batters Faced - Robbie Ross 28, Jason Frasor 4, Neal Cotts 4, Alexi Ogando 1
Game Information
Attendance - 41407
Game Time - 2:47
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Victor Carapazza, First Base - Adam Hamari, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Bill Miller