BOSTON SWEEPS

BY:  Richard W. Humphrey

For the second time in as many weeks, the Texas Rangers started the week by getting swept by a first place team.  This week, it was the Boston Red Sox that victimized the Lawmen. The Red Sox showed why they have the best record in baseball as they held the Rangers to just six runs in the three games.  Texas has now lost seven of its last nine games after winning five straight series against teams with losing records.  The Rangers are now 40-54 and trail the first place Houston Astros by 21.5 games in the American League West, a new season high.

In the first game of the series, Mike Minor gave up two hits in the first inning.  The second hit was a home run, giving the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.  Minor lasted into the sixth inning, and he allowed no more runs on four more hits.

Cory Gearrin, the newest Ranger, relieved Minor with one out in the sixth inning and retired the five batters he faced.  Jesse Chavez pitched the eighth inning, and he gave up three hits with the third one being a home run that extended Boston’s lead to 5-0.

Texas never scored as Eduardo Rodriguez and four relievers shut out the Rangers.  5-0 was the final score with Minor taking the loss and falling to 6-5 for the season.

On Tuesday, Yovani Gallardo was the Rangers’ starting pitcher, and when he pitches, the Rangers score runs.  Texas had scored 40 runs in his four previous starts.  This time the Rangers managed to score just four runs, which was however, the most they have scored in the last six games.

Four was not enough on Tuesday.  The Red Sox put together the rare rally with a bunch of hits in the third inning.  There were three consecutive doubles, followed by two singles and a triple to score five runs, four of which came with two outs.  That gave the Sox a 5-1 lead.

Gallardo finished five innings, allowing six runs on seven hits.  Ricky Rodriguez relieved and gave up two more runs to make the final score 8-4.  Gallardo is 3-1 with the loss.

Chris Sale, perhaps the best pitcher in the American League so far this season, was Boston’s starter in the series finale.  He pitched a strong game, shutting out the Rangers over the first seven innings, while striking out 12 batters.

The Rangers got to reliever Heath Hembree for two runs in the eighth inning, but it wasn’t enough.  Bartolo Colon threw a quality start going six innings and allowing three earned runs plus a fourth unearned run on nine hits.  Jake Diekman and Jesse Chavez kept Boston off the scoreboard in the seventh and eighth innings to make the final score 4-2.

Sale is 10-4 with the win.  Colon is 5-7 with the loss.  A total of 18 Rangers struck out on the night including four by Boston closer Craig Kimbrel to finish the game.

The Rangers are off on Thursday and face the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend to complete the “first half” of the Major League season.  These will be the first three meetings out of seven this season with Baltimore.  The announced starting pitchers are Cole Hamels on Friday, TBA on Saturday, and TBA on Sunday.  There is a good likelihood that Martin Perez will be activated from the disabled list to start Saturday’s game and that Mike Minor will start on Sunday.

NOTABLE:

*     Shin-Soo Choo did not play Monday or Wednesday when Boston started left-handers.  On Tuesday, he went 0-3, but walked twice to keep his streak of reaching base alive at 48 games; his career high, the Ranger record high, and the MLB high for the 2018 season.

*     Rougned Odor was charged with an error in Wednesday’s game to end a 40 game errorless streak, the longest of his career.

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