for this game

Sosa the difference as Rangers nip Red Sox

Jul 1, 2007 - 4:09 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- Sammy Sosa's 602nd career homer proved the difference as the Texas Rangers squeaked past the Boston Red Sox, 5-4, on Saturday.

Down 4-0 after two innings, the Rangers staged one of their biggest rallies of the season.

A surprisingly stingy middle relief corps was the key as they held the powerful Red Sox lineup in check for four innings and Eric Gagne earned his ninth save in as many opportunities for the Rangers, who snapped a mini two-game losing streak.

"We have a lot of confidence and we know we can do it," Gagne said. "It's just a big team win, basically. We came back from 4-0 and win the ball game, that's huge, not just for the bullpen, but for the whole team."

Sosa's solo blast in the fifth snapped a 4-4 tie and gave him 14 homers in his bounce-back season.

"That just shows the quality of character inside this clubhouse," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We were down 4-0 early in the game and we never felt that we were out of the game if we could have just kept it right there. Then we could just pick and pick and try to get back into it and it just so happens we did."

The veteran slugger is making his case to earn the Rangers' lone All-Star bid, as he now has driven in 63 runs this season, placing him in a tie for fourth in the American League with the Indians' Victor Martinez and the Twins' Torii Hunter.

Boston had an opportunity to tie the game in the eighth when Akinori Otsuka surrendered a two-out double to Dustin Pedroia, but Julio Lugo - who pinch ran for Pedroia - was thrown out trying to steal third, leaving Kevin Youkilis with the bat on his shoulder.

"When we have him in there, we are just trying to score (with) a base hit and I think its probably a case of a player trying to do too much and maybe trying to do something that's not there," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Obviously, we would like (Youkilis) to swing the bat there."

The Red Sox jumped on top early, plating a pair of runs in each of the first two innings. Texas starter Robinson Tejeda was wild from the start, walking the first two batters of the game before David Ortiz singled home the game's first run.

Mike Lowell's sacrifice fly pushed the advantage to 2-0, but - in what would be a running theme for Boston throughout the night - Jason Varitek struck out to end the frame, leaving two runners in scoring position.

Youkilis accounted for the Red Sox's two second-inning runs when he drove Tejeda's 1-0 pitch into the Monster seats above the left field wall with Alex Cora on third to boost the lead to 4-0.

Tejeda walked two and hit a batter to load the bases after Youkilis' homer, but got Lowell to fly out to left to end the threat.

Boston left a total of 12 runners on base in the game.

"It's definitely frustrating," Youkilis said. "We had a big lead out there. They just came back and put together some good innings. We just couldn't get a couple runs there later in the game. And, you know, for us, things like that happen, we've gotta step it up offensively and score a couple of runs late."

Tejeda left after just four innings and 101 pitches. The 25-year-old righthander allowed four runs and five hits, but was undone by six walks - five of which came in the first two innings.

"You really have to pay attention to what Robinson Tejada did, to go out there and battle," Rangers outfielder Marlon Byrd said. "It was tough for him tonight. He was a bulldog, he stayed out there and went through his 100 pitches early in the game but he didn't give up at all."

Red Sox starter Josh Beckett began the game strong in search of his 12th win of the season, yielding just two hits and no runs through the first three innings. The Rangers got to him in the fourth, however, tagging the righthander for four runs in the frame to tie the score.

"The solo home run was up (in the strike zone) to Sammy and the big hit in the fourth was a double that was a fastball down the middle," Beckett said. "They punish balls over the middle of the plate. That (fourth) inning was the big inning. I can deal with the solo home run in the fifth if I don't give up the four in the fourth."

Texas clubbed six hits in the frame, with Byrd and Kenny Lofton plating a run each with single, while Brad Wilkerson drove in a pair with a double to center field.

"It says a lot about the way this ball club is fighting right now and we're fighting to the end and making teams beat us and we're not beating ourselves," Wilkerson said. "We did a great job of putting guys on base tonight and coming up with clutch base hits."

Beckett last just five innings, surrendering five runs and 10 hits to take just his second loss of the season.

"All of a sudden it seemed like every time he pitched and missed one, he missed it right over the middle of the plate," Francona said. "Uncharacteristically, all of sudden he started missing over the plate."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 0 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 5 11 0
    BOSTON 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TEX - ROBINSON TEJEDA, RON MAHAY (5TH), JOAQUIN BENOIT (7TH),
    AKINORI OTSUKA (8TH), ERIC GAGNE (9TH) AND GERALD LAIRD
    BOS - JOSH BECKETT, JAVIER LOPEZ (6TH), KYLE S

    Jun 30 10:25 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Rangers vs. Red SoxJun 30 10:11 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY SAMMY SOSA (14) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF JOSH BECKETT.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 5, BOSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: F CATALANOTTO (.206, 2-FOR-2)

    Rangers vs. Red SoxJun 30 8:52 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KENNY LOFTON SCORED BRAD WILKERSON.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, K LOFTON ON FIRST, R VAZQUEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 4
    BOSTON 4 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: J HAIRSTON JR (.244, 0-FOR-2)

    Rangers vs. Red SoxJun 30 8:35 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRAD WILKERSON SCORED FRANK CATALANOTTO AND
    MARLON BYRD.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, B WILKERSON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3
    BOSTON 4 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G LAIRD (.233, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. Red SoxJun 30 8:30 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARLON BYRD SCORED SAMMY SOSA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M BYRD ON FIRST, F CATALANOTTO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    BOSTON 4 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: B WILKERSON (.217, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. Red SoxJun 30 8:28 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY KEVIN YOUKILIS (9) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 2ND OFF ROBINSON TEJEDA SCORED ALEX CORA.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0, BOSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.322, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Rangers vs. Red SoxJun 30 7:44 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MIKE LOWELL SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J DREW ON FIRST, D ORTIZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    BOSTON 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J VARITEK (.266, 8 HR, 33 RBI)

    Rangers vs. Red SoxJun 30 7:28 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID ORTIZ SCORED DUSTIN PEDROIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D ORTIZ ON FIRST, K YOUKILIS ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.290, 11 HR, 43 RBI)

    Rangers vs. Red SoxJun 30 7:22 PM
  • 5
    roots
    cramyamel Added 5 roots

    Rangers vs. Red SoxJun 30 9:19 AM