Rapid Reaction: Rangers 5, Red Sox 1
May, 4, 2013
By Randy Jennings, Special to ESPNBoston.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Will Middlebrooks retreated to his right and behind the bag at third to glove Craig Gentry’s two-hopper. From 15 feet behind the base, it was going to be a challenge for the arm of Middlebrooks, or anybody for that matter, to beat the speedy Gentry to first.
This turned out to be the key moment in Saturday night's game, a 5-1 win for the Rangers.
John Lackey was an out away from escaping a major threat and keeping a tie score intact. Texas at the time had the bases loaded in the fourth inning of a 1-1 game.
Gentry indeed beat Middlebrooks’ hurried throw for an infield single, permitting the tie-breaking run to score. The ball kicked away from first baseman Mike Napoli and a second run crossed. Middlebrooks was charged with his second throwing error of the game.
But the play came early enough to allow the Red Sox plenty of chances to overcome a 3-1 deficit. In five innings, Boston stranded at least one runner in scoring position. In the sixth, Dustin Pedroia had two in scoring position when he grounded out to first.
The Sox went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, missing on their final seven chances.
Texas tacked on a pair of insurance runs with Gentry hitting his first home run of the year.
While the Rangers have won the first two games of the series, an intriguing pitching matchup remains. Jon Lester (4-0) and Yu Darvish (5-1) square off for a 3:05 p.m. first pitch on Sunday.
Streaking Ortiz: A leadoff double by David Ortiz off the left-field wall in the second inning was notable on several fronts. Ortiz extended his hitting streak, which dates back to last season, to a major league-leading 24 games and to 12 for this season. The streak began on July 2, 2012 and spans 306 calendar days.
Elias Sports Bureau tracks only one other hitting streak of at least 20 games that spanned as many as 300 days, a 21-gamer by the Sox's Nomar Garciaparra over 322 days in 2000-01.
Ortiz's double was No. 382 with the Red Sox, and with it, Ortiz passed Bobby Doerr on the Red Sox all-time doubles list, moving into fifth place. Fourth on the list is Wade Boggs with 422. Carl Yastrzemski, with 646, heads the list.
Looking lost: Daniel Nava experienced a deer-in-headlights moment on John Lackey’s first pitch of the game. The Red Sox left fielder never saw the ball that Ian Kinsler hit over his head and into the left-field stands, an estimated 402 feet. Instead of drifting back to the wall, Nava stayed pretty much in his tracks, all the while nervously shuffling his feet, trying to pick up sight of the ball with no luck. But in not retreating, he successfully decoyed a sizable number of fans.