Game over: Red Sox 6, Rangers 3: The Texas Rangers intentionally walked Dustin Pedroia in the bottom of the ninth inning to get to David Ortiz on Thursday night. It was a move that made sense. It also was a huge mistake.
Ortiz belted the first pitch he saw into the Texas bullpen in right field and the Red Sox came away with a 6-3 victory before a crowd of 35,353 at Fenway Park
It was the 11th career walk-off home run for Ortiz, his 10th with the Red Sox.
The Rangers sent lefty Michael Kirkman out to start the inning. Jonny Gomes (4 for 5) belted his first pitch to center for a double. Pedroia was intentionally walked. Ortiz then won it.
Andrew Bailey (2-0) went an inning for the victory. The Red Sox have won four of their last five games.
Jacoby Ellsbury was 4 for 5 with two doubles and two runs scored in his first game back after missing five games with a strained left groin. Ellsbury is 20 of 45 in his last 11 games, raising his batting average to .280.
Jose Iglesias was 1 for 1 with three walks. He has hit safely in 10 consecutive games and reached base safely in 18 of the 19 games he has played this season. Iglesias had walked six times in 149 major league plate appearances before Thursday, never more than once in a game.
It was the fifth walk-off victory of the season for the Red Sox.
Middle of the 9th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 3: Bailey leaves a runner stranded. If the Red Sox win this, it'll be a walk-off. Gomes, Pedroia and Ortiz due up against Michael Kirkman, a lefty.
Middlebrooks, Victorino go deep: Shane Victorino was 2 for 4 with a home run for Triple A Pawtucket in his first injury rehabilitation game. He started in right field and played seven innings in a 10-5 loss against Charlotte. Victorino is expected to play one or two more games for Pawtucket.
Will Middlebrooks was 1 for 4 with a home run. The third baseman is 4 for 9 with two home runs through three games on his rehab assignment. Victorino is on the disabled list with with a left hamstring strain. Middlebrooks is out with a back strain.
Top of the 9th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 3: Uehara had a perfect inning. Iglesias drew his third walk in the bottom of the frame but was stranded. Iglesias had walked six times in 149 major league plate appearances before Thursday, never more than once in a game.
Bailey in now.
Top of the 8th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 3: The seventh inning started with Ellsbury’s second double of the night, this one coming off Robbie Ross. Gomes then had his third hit, a single to left. Pedroia struck out swinging on four pitches.
Ortiz walked to load the bases. Jason Frasor, a righthander, came in to face Mike Napoli. The former Ranger grounded to first base. Berkman skipped his throw to shortstop. Elvis Andrus made a nice play to field it but his throw back to first was late and Ellsbury scored to make it 3-3. Nava had a chance to give the Red Sox the lead but struck out.
Top of the 7th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 2: Lester worked around a leadoff double by Pierzynski. The Red Sox then squandered another chance. Nava walked with one out. Iglesias then singled with two outs. A wild pitch moved the runners up before Ciriaco (0 for 3, hitting .220) struck out.
Top of the 6th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 2: The Sox wasted a chance in the bottom of the inning. Ellsbury (3 for 3 and 19 of his last 43) doubled and went to third when Gomes singled. When Pedroia grounded to first, Ellsbury was thrown out at the plate. Ortiz then grounded into a double play.
Top of the 5th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 2: Lester walked Gentry and Andrus singled before he escaped the inning. Ross singled and Iglesias walked with two outs in the bottom of the inning. But Ciriaco grounded out.
Top of the 4th: Rangers 3, Red Sox 2: Beltre homered to center for Texas as Lester is having another rough night. The Red Sox came back with two off Holland. Iglesias walked and Ellsbury (2 for 2) singled ahead of Pedroia's two-run double to center with two outs. Ortiz then grounded to first.
Draft update: The Red Sox took LHP Trey Ball with the seventh overall pick. He's from New Castle, Ind.
Top of the 3rd: Rangers 2, Red Sox 0: Pierzynski had a ground-rule double to right. Then Baker homered into the Monster Seats. He is 7 for 9 against Lester in his career. Napoli led off the bottom of the inning with a line drive to the gap in right and was thrown out going to second by roughly a mile.
Top of the 2nd: Rangers 0, Red Sox 0: Berkman walked with two outs. Beltre hit the ball so hard off the wall that Berkman had to stay at second. Cruz then fanned. The Sox opened with singles by Ellsbury and Gomes. But Pedroia went 6-4-3 and Ortiz grounded into the shift.
Pre-game: Greetings from Fenway Park, where it's overcast for the final game of the series and a bit chilly at 65 degrees for June 6. The Sox face a challenge in lefty Derek Holland, who has owned them since he came to the majors in 2009.
Jon Lester has struggled in his last three starts (19.1 IP, 13 ER) and needs to come back from that.
We'll have updates all game. So hang out and feel free to leave your comments.