Game over: Red Sox 3, Rangers 1
Lowell wasn't holding him at first, so Guerrereo decided to try and steal. He was thrown out. Doubront then struck out Moreland looking.
Bottom of the 9th: Red Sox 3, Rangers 1
Those insurance runs were big. The ridiculously talented Hamilton homered with one out. He is 6 for 9 in the series with two homers, two RBI, five runs scored and a walk.
Guerrero then reached on an infield single. Now Felix Doubront in to face pinch hitter Mitch Moreland. Big spot for the kid.
Middle of the 9th: Red Sox 3, Rangers 0
Patterson bunted for a single to load the bases. Scutaro then fit a fly ball to center that Borbon dropped. It was credited as a sac fly.
The Sox had a chance for more but Drew grounded into a 4-2-3 double play. Martinez was intentionally walked to get to Ortiz, who grounded out.
Lester is out and Scott Atchison is in to try and close it out.
Top of the 9th: Red Sox 2, Rangers 0
Singles by Lowell, Kalish and Hall produced an insurance run off O'Day. Now Matt Harrison is in. Sox need to tack on and take some stress off that ninth inning.
Still no outs.
Top of the 9th: Red Sox 1, Rangers 0
Lester retired the sider, striking out Teagarden and getting Blanco and Andrus to ground to third. His line so far: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. But he is at 109 pitches. Be interesting to see how Francona handles the ninth inning.
Due up for Texas: Young, Hamilton and Guerrero, just the three you don't want to see coming up.
Darren O'Day now pitching for Texas. Sox could sure use an insurance run or two.
Middle of the 8th: Red Sox 1, Rangers 0
Three up, three fly balls. Lester back out there, this time at 92 pitches. Doubront and Atchison warming up.
Hamstring strain for Cruz.
Top of the 8th: Red Sox 1, Rangers 0
Cruz knocked a ball into the right-field corner that went for a triple as J.D. Drew got burned by the ricochet. With one out, the Sox pulled the infield in and Murphy grounded to first. Lester then got Canto to ground to second to end the inning.
Cruz was apparently injured running to third as he's out of the game. Hamilton went to left, Murphy went to right and Julio Borbon is in center and hitting fifth.
Middle of the 7th: Red Sox 1, Rangers 0
Hall singled with one out and stole second as Patterson struckout. Scutaro walked to extend the inning. That knocked Lewis out of the game. Alexi Ogando came in and got Drew to ground to second.
Lester out for the seventh having thrown 81 pitches. He will face Guerrero, Cruz and Murphy. It'll be interesting to see how long Francona will let Lester go given the state of his bullpen. The closer tonight could well be Manny Delcarmen. There's also a good chance of seeing Felix Doubront against a lefty or two.
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 1, Rangers 0
Lester is authoring a gem as he sets down the side in order again. He has retired nine straight.
Middle of the 6th: Red Sox 1, Rangers 0
The Sox went in order as Lews struck out Ortiz and Lowell. He has fanned seven and allowed only five hits, all of them singles.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 1, Rangers 0
Lester retired the side in order. He's working on a four-hit shutout.
Middle of the 5th: Red Sox 1, Rangers 0
Kalish singled and took second on a passed ball. An infield single by Scutaro and Drew's single to right scored him.
Drew now has six RBIs in the last six games.
The Rangers just passed along this note: the 102 degrees at first pitch tied for the second-hottest temperature in Rangers Ballpark history. The record was 103 degrees on Aug. 3, 2008.
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 0, Rangers 0
Hamilton singled to start the inning. Guerrero followed with a grounder to shortstop. Hamilton beat the flip to second but Guerrero was out 6-4-3. Cruz then lined to third and Murphy grounded out to the pitcher.
Middle of the 4th: Red Sox 0, Rangers 0
The Sox went in order again. That's eight straight retired by Lewis. The Sox have not scored in eight consecutive innings and have managed only three hits in that stretch.
Top of the 4th: Red Sox 0, Rangers 0
No runs in three innings? That has to be record at this park.
Blanco singled but Lester picked him off. Then Andrus singled but Young grounded into a double play as Lowell made a nice scoop of Scutaro's low throw.
Middle of the 3rd: Red Sox 0, Rangers 0
Lewis retired the side in order. Scutaro (2 for 28) grounded out, Drew struck out swinging and Martinez flied to left.
Top of the 3rd: Red Sox 0, Rangers 0
Cruz reached on an infield single. But Lester took care of business. He fanned Teagarden to end the inning.
Middle of the 2nd: Red Sox 0, Rangers 0
Ortiz and Beltre started the inning with singles. After Lowell flied to left, Kalish walked to load the bases. Hall worked the count to 3-2 and was called out looking on a fastball that nipped the outside corner. He protested to umpire Paul Nauert.
(As an aside, I'm fairly well convinced that the umpires have been ordered by MLB to expand the strike zone and as a result, they take more guff from players about balls and strikes than ever before. You see a lot of players get away with stuff they would have led to ejection in previous seasons.)
Patterson popped to shallow left to end the inning. Given the state of the bullpen, the Red Sox cannot afford to squander too many scoring chances.
Top of the 2nd: Red Sox 0, Rangers 0
Beltre committed a throwing error on a grounder by Andrus but Lester retired the next three batters in order. Meanwhile Dustin Pedroia 1 for 3 with a walk so far for Pawtucket in his rehab. See the post below this one for details.
Texas, Pawtucket, Boston, we have you covered tonight.
Middle of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Rangers 0
My two sources at Fenway Park — Michelle, one of our readers, and my brother-in-law Dave — report that the mighty J. Geils Band was terrific tonight. They crowd is waiting on Aerosmith. Love the Geils. Saw them at the Worcester Centrum once on New Yeah's Eve. What a great time.
Meanwhile, the Sox went in order against Lewis in the first inning.
Top of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Rangers 0
Greetings from Arlington, Texas. It's 102 degrees at first pitch. Stay with Extra Bases all night for updates and observations.
As always, we welcome your comments.