Some excellent pitching from John Lackey and some big hitting from rookie Jackie Bradley Jr gave the Boston Red Sox a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers, ending their three game losing streak and starting off their second home series of the season nicely.
Bradley wasn’t the only one doing the scoring for the Red Sox, but he certainly was alone in it early on. He single in the second inning moved the scoreboard for the first time during the game, helping Xander Bogaerts reach base. In the 4th inning, after Texas had tied the game at 1-1, Bradley hit another single to center, this time helping A.J. Pierzynski score to give the Red Sox the lead for good.
Bradley wasn’t done yet. His bunt to first didn’t get him the RBI, but Boston opened their very strong 8th (3 runs) with that, and Pierzynski scored again thanks to an error by Prince Fielder. Boston followed that up with more scoring, first by Daniel Nava helping Jonathan Herrera score after advancing earlier on that bunt, followed by Dustin Pedroia grounding into fielder’s choice at third, which was enough for Bradley to reach home as well.
The rookie outfield is hitting .375 after his 3-for-4 performance, better than anyone else in the Red Sox lineup. Pierzynski and Mike Napoli also had three hits each in the game although no RBIs. The Red Sox were very difficult to handle, hitting 14-of-36, as starting pitcher Tanner Scheppers allowed nine hits in the five innings he played, and the 8th inning finish came against Seth Rosin, allowing four hits and three runs.
Lackey picked up his second win of the season with a strong seven inning performance. He did give up five hits but walked only two batters, allowing one run and striking out five. He has a 1.38 ERA to start the season, and got plenty of backup from the bats and from Chris Capuano and Koji Uehara. Lackey is one of five AL pitchers to win their first two starts of the season, joining Felix Hernandez, Scott Kazmir, Scott Feldman and Chris Sale.
Prince Fielder continues to be a huge and expensive disappointment for the Rangers (although they’re not paying his entire salary), finishing with 0-for-4 and batting only a .143. It’s been pretty bad for J.P. Arencibia who saw only eight pitches at his three unsuccessful at bats, and is batting an awful .125 so far this year. Alex Rios and Shin-Soo Choo were the only players with multiple hits for the Rangers, who finished with 8-for-33.
The series continues as Felix Doubront (1-0, 5.06 ERA) is the one starting next for the Red Sox. He didn’t have the best of games in his season opener as the Red Sox beat the Orioles 4-3, allowing 3 runs in under six innings. Martin Perez (0-0, 3.18 ERA) will start for the Rangers.
I definitely want to pound the strike zone. I want people to know I’m going to throw strikes. If you’re going to get me you better get me quick because I’m coming after you. It took a couple of pitches with a couple of people on base. Got it done.