BOSTON (AP) -- Two of Boston's leading hitters got the holiday off.
And the Red Sox kept on winning.They beat the Texas Rangers 8-3 Monday on Patriots Day and swept the four-game series while Manny Ramirez and Sean Casey watched from the dugout.Clay Buchholz pitched six shutout innings, David Ortiz continued his surge from a horrible slump with two doubles and three RBIs and Julio Lugo went 4-for-4.Four Red Sox batters had at least two of Boston's 12 hits."They rely on everybody and it seems like everybody seems to contribute," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "I think [if] you ask any manager if it's nice not to see Manny in the lineup and they'll tell you, 'yes.' I'm no different. These guys, they scored runs."Boston scored at least five runs for the ninth straight game. The Red Sox have won nine of 10 overall."That's the key for us," leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury said, "getting on base and allowing our great batters in our lineup to get up. As long as we get runners on, we know we're going to score some runs."Ramirez, who was ejected for arguing a third strike in the second inning Sunday, is batting .338 and got the day off. Lefty hitter Casey, with a .349 average, rested against lefty Kason Gabbard.Gabbard pitched a perfect first inning then hurt his back when he slipped pitching to Kevin Youkilis, leading off the second. He walked three batters but allowed no runs in the inning. But after throwing his warmups before the third, he left with a stiff back."That doesn't help them," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "We got into their bullpen and they got into situations where they had to leave [pitchers] out there, but we took advantage of it."Boston rallied late to win its previous two games but didn't need a comeback this time as it scored five runs in a wild fourth inning and three in the fifth, all off Dustin Nippert (1-2)."We could have easily split this series," catcher Gerald Laird said. "They battled back and now they swept us so it makes it tougher when you have a couple of games that you think you should win and you can't hold onto them."The annual game on Patriots Day -- a holiday commemorating Paul Revere's ride and the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775 -- began at 11:06 a.m. It takes place on the same day as the Boston Marathon. Runners passed by Fenway Park starting in the third and kept going for hours -- just like the Red Sox offense.Buchholz (1-1) allowed five hits and two walks with six strikeouts, one in each of his innings against Texas, 2-9 in its last 11 games."After the first inning I felt like I was in sync," he said. "I was throwing fastballs down in the zone good. That's what I hadn't been doing consistently so far this year."J.D. Drew led off the fifth with a walk, took second on a balk and third on a bunt single by Jed Lowrie. Lugo followed with an RBI single. Then Kevin Cash hit a soft line out to second baseman Ian Kinsler. Lugo strayed off first, but Ben Broussard couldn't handle Kinsler's throw trying to double him up, allowing Lowrie to score.Ellsbury singled and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double. Ortiz hit what looked like a routine fly out to left fielder Milton Bradley. But Bradley lost a battle with the early-afternoon sun and the ball dropped behind him as Pedroia scored the fifth run."You can't make mistakes against them," Kinsler said. "They didn't make too many this weekend."There was nothing odd about Boston's next three runs.Lugo led off with a double, took third on Cash's single and scored on Ellsbury's single. Then Ortiz hit the ball off the left-field wall for a two-run double and an 8-0 lead.Ortiz is hitting .306 (11-for-36) in his last eight games since batting .070 (3-for-43) in his first 12.Texas scored two runs in the seventh on two RBI doubles -- by Laird off David Aardsma and by Josh Hamilton off Javier Lopez.
Boston has come from behind in nine of its 14 wins. ... Broussard went 0-for-3 and is in an 0-for-19 slump. ... Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the 2004 presidential candidate, pinned the Purple Heart on PFC Sean Bannon in a pregame ceremony at the mound as Curt Schilling stood beside them. Bannon then threw the ceremonial first pitch to Schilling, who campaigned for President Bush in 2004. ... The Old North Church Chamber Choir sang the national anthem. The steeple in that church in Boston's North End was where two lanterns were place on April 18, 1775, to signify the movement of British troops and gave rise to the phrase, "One if by land, and two if by sea." ... The wives of Schilling (Shonda) and RHP Mike Timlin (Dawn), along with Ellsbury's girlfriend (Kelsey Hawkins), ran in the Marathon.