Kimbrel quickest to 300 saves as Red Sox rally 6-5 at Texas

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Craig Kimbrel needed only 11 pitches in a perfect ninth to close out Boston's latest victory, and become the quickest pitcher ever to reach 300 career saves.

Kimbrel struck out two for his ninth save in 10 chances this season as the Red Sox won 6-5 at Texas on Saturday night. They had scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth, after Joe Kelly struck out the only two batters he faced when the Rangers had the bases loaded in the eighth.

''It feels like forever, and also feels like it's flown by,'' Kimbrel said. ''Eight years ago today, I got called up for the first time. It's neat to be able to get my 300th save on the same day. I've been a part of a lot of great teams. There's a lot of save opportunities, a lot of chances. If it wasn't for that, we wouldn't be talking today.''

Kimbrel's 300th save overall came in his 494th career appearance and 330th save opportunity, and about three weeks before his 30th birthday. He had 186 saves for Atlanta from 2010-14, and 39 in his only season for San Diego before 75 since joining the Red Sox in 2016.

His 300 saves came quicker than anyone in terms of appearances, save opportunities and age. Mariano Rivera got his 300th save in his 537th game, Joe Nathan in his 335th save opportunity and Francisco Rodriguez at age 31.

''I got an early chance at a young age on some good teams,'' Kimbrel said. ''I've gotten a chance earlier than a lot of guys have.''

Kimbrel's grandfather drove down from Kansas to see the game. He also was there for Kimbrel's 200th save, which came during his season with the Padres.

Andrew Benintendi hit a triple off the right-center wall in the ninth against Keone Kela (2-2), missing a home run by only a couple of feet. He came home on a sacrifice fly by Hanley Ramirez, setting the stage for Kimbrel.

''Unreal. He's been good for a long time,'' manager Alex Cora said of the closer. ''For him to do it in that game, it's kind of appropriate. It's one that as a team we grinded it out.''

Kelly (1-0) came on with one out in the eighth and fanned Joey Gallo, the slugger who had already hit two impressive home runs, and then got Jurickson Profar on a called third strike to end an 11-pitch at-bat.

''Joe getting out of the eighth inning like that definitely gave us momentum,'' Kimbrel said.

Boston is 24-9, the best record in the majors, and retained sole possession of the AL East lead a game ahead of the Yankees after New York (23-10) won for the 14th time in 15 games earlier Saturday, 5-2 at home over Cleveland. The Red Sox have been alone atop the division since April 1.

Four Red Sox pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts, matching the most against Texas this season.

Delino DeShields hit a three-run homer in the fifth that put the Rangers up 4-1, when the ball hit on top of the 14-foot wall down the left field line and ricocheted into the seats.

Mitch Moreland hit a two-run homer for the Red Sox in the sixth, and they got even in the seventh when Benintendi, who also had an RBI single in the fifth, blooped a ball down the left field line for what became an RBI double before he scored on a single by J.D. Martinez to make it 5-all.

Shortstop Profar initially slipped while picking up the ball hit by Benintendi and took a few nonchalant steps. When he did, Mookie Betts, who reached on a walk and had slowed at third, took off for home.

''A couple of mistakes that got us,'' manager Jeff Banister said. ''The one ball down the line that Benintendi got a jam shot over the infield, and I think we wound up giving up a run in that situation there, when Profar looked away and the runner was able to run home.''

GALLO DINGERS

Gallo had homers estimated at 466 and 415 feet. It was the fifth multihomer game in Gallo's career, all at home. He is only the fourth Rangers player with at least 12 homers in the first 30 games of a season, joining Josh Hamilton (2012), Juan Gonzalez (2003) and Ivan Rodriguez (2000) - all past AL MVPs.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: RHP Tim Lincecum (blister right middle finger) threw a 26-pitch bullpen session Saturday and will join Triple-A Round Rock on Monday for a rehab assignment. He's on the 60-day DL and not eligible for reinstatement until May 28.

UP NEXT

Rangers RHP Doug Fister (1-2, 2.88 ERA in five starts for Texas), who made 15 starts for the Red Sox last year after joining the team in late June, goes in the series finale. Boston LHP Chris Sale (2-1, 2.14) has won all three of his previous starts at Texas.

---

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
BOS24-9
000012201690
TEX13-22
010031000562
  • W: J. Kelly (1-0)L: K. Kela (2-2)S: C. Kimbrel (9)
  • HR: BOS - M. Moreland (5), TEX - D. DeShields (2), J. Gallo 2 (12)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Betts RF41000101.352.433.8241.2572.0
A. Benintendi CF-LF52310000.254.346.412.7589.0
H. Ramirez DH40110013.297.366.432.7981.5
J. Martinez LF51210011.344.388.590.9783.5
J. Bradley CF00000000.183.265.279.5440.0
X. Bogaerts SS40100032.338.368.606.9740.5
M. Moreland 1B31221100.338.403.6471.0509.0
E. Nunez 2B30000002.228.261.368.6290.0
R. Devers 3B40000014.268.317.472.789-0.5
C. Vazquez C31000104.193.253.239.4912.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    D. DeShields CF41231000.306.348.452.8009.0
    S. Choo RF40100030.252.338.430.7670.5
    I. Kiner-Falefa 2B40000002.253.295.373.6690.0
    N. Mazara DH30000120.285.336.492.8280.0
    J. Gallo 1B42222023.223.303.531.83411.0
    J. Profar SS40000023.223.324.351.675-1.0
    R. Nunez 3B30000120.115.200.269.4690.0
    R. Chirinos C41100031.194.269.452.7210.5
    R. Rua LF21000120.200.234.300.5341.0
    a- R. Guzman PH10000010.196.237.357.594-0.5
    • a-struck out for Rua in the 9th
    BATTING
    • 2B - A. Benintendi (9), X. Bogaerts (10)
    • 3B - A. Benintendi (3)
    • HR - M. Moreland (5)
    • SF - H. Ramirez (2)
    • SH - E. Nunez
    • RBI - A. Benintendi (16), H. Ramirez (19), J. Martinez (26), M. Moreland 2 (16)
    • 2-Out RBI - J. Martinez (12)
    BATTING
    • 2B - S. Choo (9)
    • HR - D. DeShields (2), J. Gallo 2 (12)
    • RBI - D. DeShields 3 (4), J. Gallo 2 (24)
    • 2-Out RBI - D. DeShields 3 (4), J. Gallo (6)
    FIELDING
    • E - C. Hamels, R. Nunez (3)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    E. Rodriguez6.045521035.291.2712.0
    H. Hembree1.12001303.781.321.5
    J. Kelly (W, 1-0)0.20000202.510.778.0
    C. Kimbrel (S, 9)1.00000201.230.7511.0
    PITCHERSIP
    E. Rodriguez6.0
    H. Hembree1.1
    J. Kelly (W, 1-0)0.2
    C. Kimbrel (S, 9)1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    C. Hamels6.05322513.941.3614.5
    J. Leclerc (H, 1)0.10111002.700.80-2.0
    A. Claudio (BS, 2)1.13110106.061.84-0.5
    K. Jepsen0.10000004.401.190.0
    K. Kela (L, 2-2)1.01110006.551.55-4.0
    PITCHERSIP
    C. Hamels6.0
    J. Leclerc (H, 1)0.1
    A. Claudio (BS, 2)1.1
    K. Jepsen0.1
    K. Kela (L, 2-2)1.0
    PITCHING
    • IBB - H. Hembree
    • Pitches-Strikes - E. Rodriguez 107-67, H. Hembree 26-19, J. Kelly 16-11, C. Kimbrel 11-7
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - E. Rodriguez 3-5, H. Hembree 1-0
    • Batters Faced - E. Rodriguez 24, H. Hembree 7, J. Kelly 2, C. Kimbrel 3
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - C. Hamels 103-63, J. Leclerc 7-3, A. Claudio 24-17, K. Jepsen 3-2, K. Kela 15-9
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Hamels 7-7, A. Claudio 3-0, K. Jepsen 1-0, K. Kela 1-2
    • Batters Faced - C. Hamels 26, J. Leclerc 2, A. Claudio 7, K. Jepsen, K. Kela 4
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    BOS24-9
    000012201690
    TEX13-22
    010031000562
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    M. Betts RF41000101.352.433.8241.2572.0
    A. Benintendi CF-LF52310000.254.346.412.7589.0
    H. Ramirez DH40110013.297.366.432.7981.5
    J. Martinez LF51210011.344.388.590.9783.5
    J. Bradley CF00000000.183.265.279.5440.0
    X. Bogaerts SS40100032.338.368.606.9740.5
    M. Moreland 1B31221100.338.403.6471.0509.0
    E. Nunez 2B30000002.228.261.368.6290.0
    R. Devers 3B40000014.268.317.472.789-0.5
    C. Vazquez C31000104.193.253.239.4912.0
    Total3569513617-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      D. DeShields CF41231000.306.348.452.8009.0
      S. Choo RF40100030.252.338.430.7670.5
      I. Kiner-Falefa 2B40000002.253.295.373.6690.0
      N. Mazara DH30000120.285.336.492.8280.0
      J. Gallo 1B42222023.223.303.531.83411.0
      J. Profar SS40000023.223.324.351.675-1.0
      R. Nunez 3B30000120.115.200.269.4690.0
      R. Chirinos C41100031.194.269.452.7210.5
      R. Rua LF21000120.200.234.300.5341.0
      a- R. Guzman PH10000010.196.237.357.594-0.5
      Total3356533179-----
      • a-struck out for Rua in the 9th
      BATTING
      • 2B - A. Benintendi (9), X. Bogaerts (10)
      • 3B - A. Benintendi (3)
      • HR - M. Moreland (5)
      • SF - H. Ramirez (2)
      • SH - E. Nunez
      • RBI - A. Benintendi (16), H. Ramirez (19), J. Martinez (26), M. Moreland 2 (16)
      • 2-Out RBI - J. Martinez (12)
      BATTING
      • 2B - S. Choo (9)
      • HR - D. DeShields (2), J. Gallo 2 (12)
      • RBI - D. DeShields 3 (4), J. Gallo 2 (24)
      • 2-Out RBI - D. DeShields 3 (4), J. Gallo (6)
      FIELDING
      • E - C. Hamels, R. Nunez (3)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      E. Rodriguez6.045521035.291.2712.0
      H. Hembree1.12001303.781.321.5
      J. Kelly (W, 1-0)0.20000202.510.778.0
      C. Kimbrel (S, 9)1.00000201.230.7511.0
      Total9.06553173---
      PITCHERSIP
      E. Rodriguez6.0
      H. Hembree1.1
      J. Kelly (W, 1-0)0.2
      C. Kimbrel (S, 9)1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      C. Hamels6.05322513.941.3614.5
      J. Leclerc (H, 1)0.10111002.700.80-2.0
      A. Claudio (BS, 2)1.13110106.061.84-0.5
      K. Jepsen0.10000004.401.190.0
      K. Kela (L, 2-2)1.01110006.551.55-4.0
      Total9.0965361---
      PITCHERSIP
      C. Hamels6.0
      J. Leclerc (H, 1)0.1
      A. Claudio (BS, 2)1.1
      K. Jepsen0.1
      K. Kela (L, 2-2)1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • IBB - H. Hembree
      • Pitches-Strikes - E. Rodriguez 107-67, H. Hembree 26-19, J. Kelly 16-11, C. Kimbrel 11-7
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - E. Rodriguez 3-5, H. Hembree 1-0
      • Batters Faced - E. Rodriguez 24, H. Hembree 7, J. Kelly 2, C. Kimbrel 3
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - C. Hamels 103-63, J. Leclerc 7-3, A. Claudio 24-17, K. Jepsen 3-2, K. Kela 15-9
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Hamels 7-7, A. Claudio 3-0, K. Jepsen 1-0, K. Kela 1-2
      • Batters Faced - C. Hamels 26, J. Leclerc 2, A. Claudio 7, K. Jepsen, K. Kela 4
      • 9TH INNING
        Ramirez hit sacrifice fly to center, Benintendi scored65
      • 7TH INNING
        Martinez singled to center, Benintendi scored55
        Benintendi doubled to left, Betts scored45
      • 6TH INNING
        Gallo homered to right35
        Moreland homered to right, Martinez scored34
      • 5TH INNING
        DeShields homered to left, Chirinos and Rua scored14
        Benintendi reached on an infield single to second, Vazquez scored11
      • 2ND INNING
        Gallo homered to right01
      • 9TH INNING
        • Keone Kela relieved Kevin Jepsen
        • M. Betts: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Betts fouled out to first
        • A. Benintendi: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Benintendi tripled to deep right center
        • H. Ramirez: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ramirez hit sacrifice fly to center, Benintendi scored
        • J. Martinez: Martinez grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 9th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Jackie Bradley in center
        • Craig Kimbrel relieved Joe Kelly
        • R. Nunez: Nunez fouled out to first
        • R. Chirinos: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Chirinos struck out swinging
        • Ronald Guzman hit for Ryan Rua
        • R. Guzman: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Guzman struck out swinging
        • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • A. Claudio Pitching:
        • M. Moreland: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Moreland singled to deep right
        • E. Nunez: Pickoff attempt, Foul, Nunez hit sacrifice bunt to pitcher, Moreland to second
        • R. Devers: Ball, Foul, Devers reached on fielder's choice to pitcher, Moreland out at third
        • Kevin Jepsen relieved Alex Claudio
        • C. Vazquez: Ball, Strike looking, Vazquez grounded out to pitcher
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • H. Hembree Pitching:
        • D. DeShields: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, DeShields singled to right
        • S. Choo: Ball, Foul, Choo doubled to deep left, DeShields to third
        • I. Kiner-Falefa: Strike swinging, Foul, Kiner-Falefa grounded out to shortstop
        • N. Mazara: Mazara intentionally walked
        • Joe Kelly relieved Heath Hembree
        • J. Gallo: Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Gallo struck out swinging
        • J. Profar: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Profar struck out looking
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Jose Leclerc relieved Cole Hamels
        • C. Vazquez: Vazquez popped out to first
        • M. Betts: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Betts walked
        • Alex Claudio relieved Jose Leclerc
        • A. Benintendi: Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Benintendi doubled to left, Betts scored
        • H. Ramirez: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Ramirez grounded out to pitcher, Benintendi to third
        • J. Martinez: Ball, Martinez singled to center, Benintendi scored
        • X. Bogaerts: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Bogaerts struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 7th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Heath Hembree relieved Eduardo Rodriguez
        • R. Nunez: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Nunez struck out swinging
        • R. Chirinos: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul tip, Chirinos struck out on foul tip
        • R. Rua: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Rua struck out looking
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • C. Hamels Pitching:
        • J. Martinez: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Martinez singled to deep right
        • X. Bogaerts: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Bogaerts struck out swinging
        • M. Moreland: Ball, Strike swinging, Moreland homered to right, Martinez scored
        • E. Nunez: Ball, Nunez lined out to center
        • R. Devers: Strike looking, Devers grounded out to second
        • Middle of the 6th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • E. Rodriguez Pitching:
        • I. Kiner-Falefa: Ball, Kiner-Falefa grounded out to shortstop
        • N. Mazara: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Mazara struck out swinging
        • J. Gallo: Strike swinging, Ball, Gallo homered to right
        • J. Profar: Ball, Profar flied out to center
        • End of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • C. Hamels Pitching:
        • R. Devers: Ball, Strike swinging, Devers fouled out to left
        • C. Vazquez: Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Vazquez walked
        • M. Betts: Ball, Ball, Betts safe at first on 3rd baseman Nunez fielding error, Vazquez to third, Betts to second
        • A. Benintendi: Ball, Benintendi reached on an infield single to second, Vazquez scored
        • H. Ramirez: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ramirez grounded into double play pitcher to second to first, Benintendi out at second
        • Middle of the 5th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
        • E. Rodriguez Pitching:
        • J. Profar: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Profar struck out swinging
        • R. Nunez: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Nunez struck out looking
        • R. Chirinos: Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Chirinos singled to left
        • R. Rua: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Rua walked, Chirinos to second
        • D. DeShields: DeShields homered to left, Chirinos and Rua scored
        • S. Choo: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Choo struck out swinging
        • End of the 5th (3 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • C. Hamels Pitching:
        • X. Bogaerts: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Bogaerts struck out swinging
        • M. Moreland: Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike (foul tip), Moreland grounded out to first
        • E. Nunez: Strike looking, Nunez grounded out to third
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • E. Rodriguez Pitching:
        • I. Kiner-Falefa: Strike looking, Ball, Kiner-Falefa flied out to right
        • N. Mazara: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Mazara lined out to third
        • J. Gallo: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Gallo struck out looking
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • C. Hamels Pitching:
        • M. Betts: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Betts lined out to center
        • A. Benintendi: Foul, Benintendi flied out to left
        • H. Ramirez: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ramirez singled to right
        • J. Martinez: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Martinez struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • E. Rodriguez Pitching:
        • R. Rua: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Strike looking, Rua struck out looking
        • D. DeShields: DeShields flied out to right
        • S. Choo: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Choo struck out swinging
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • C. Hamels Pitching:
        • J. Martinez: Strike looking, Foul, Martinez flied out to right
        • X. Bogaerts: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Bogaerts doubled to deep left
        • M. Moreland: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Moreland walked
        • E. Nunez: Nunez reached on fielder's choice to pitcher, Bogaerts to third, Moreland to second on Hamels fielding error
        • R. Devers: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Devers struck out swinging
        • C. Vazquez: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Vazquez flied out to right
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
        • E. Rodriguez Pitching:
        • N. Mazara: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul tip, Mazara struck out on foul tip
        • J. Gallo: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Gallo homered to right
        • J. Profar: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Profar grounded out to second
        • R. Nunez: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Nunez walked
        • R. Chirinos: Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Chirinos struck out swinging
        • End of the 2nd (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • C. Hamels Pitching:
        • M. Betts: Strike looking, Betts flied out to left
        • A. Benintendi: Ball, Benintendi grounded out to first
        • H. Ramirez: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ramirez struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • E. Rodriguez Pitching:
        • D. DeShields: Ball, DeShields flied out to deep right
        • S. Choo: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Choo struck out looking
        • I. Kiner-Falefa: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Kiner-Falefa grounded out to pitcher
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)