SOX LOSE (4:29, END 9, 6-3 RANGERS)
The Red Sox dropped a series at Fenway for the third time this year. The Rangers retired them in order after Mark Kotsay’s fourth inning home run, and Daisuke Matsuzaka takes the loss.
CRUZ ENDS OKIE’S STREAK (3:57, MID 7, 6-3 RANGERS)
Okajima had not allowed an earned run since April 28, a span of 16 1/3 innings. Cruz ended that by lacing a solo home run into the Monster seats with two outs, giving the Rangers bit more insurance. Okajima got out of the inning when Murhphy, who was 3 for 3, flied to deep center. Okajima was one out away from tying his career-best 17-inning scoreless streak.
OKAJIMA IN (3:47, TOP 7, 5-3 RANGERS)
Justin Masterson got Young to tap back to him to lead off the seventh, and Francona brought in Hideki Okajima to pitch to lefty Hank Blalock with one out.
The Red Sox got a single from Ortiz in the bottom of the sixth, but he tried to time Padilla’s delivery and was caught stealing when Padilla stepped off and fired to second.
PLAY AT THE PLATE (3:35, MID 6, 5-3 RANGERS)
Kinsler lined a double down the leftfield line, into the corner. Bay dug the ball out as Vizquel zipped toward third and fired to Green, who relayed the ball home. Varitek blocked the plate, caught Green’s strong throw, and applied the tag to end the inning and keep the Red Sox within striking distance.
MASTERSON REPLACES DICE (3:30, TOP 6, 5-3 RANGERS)
After Vizquel’s single, Terry Francona summoned Masterson and removed Matsuzaka after 101 pitches. He allwed 10 hits and, so far, five runs in 5 2/3 innings. He’s still on the hook for Vizquel.
OFFICIAL WORD ON ELLSBURY (3:28, TOP 6, 5-3 RANGERS)
Ellsbury left with a right shoulder strain.
Matsuzka made quick work, two up, two down, before Vizquel grounded a single through the middle.
ELLSBURY OUT (3:26, END 5, 5-3 RANGERS)
The Red Sox went in order, including a grounder to first by Ellsbury. He left the game after that at-bat. Rocco Baldelli came in as the rightfielder, and Kotsay moved to center. Ellsbury seemed to show a trainer his right arm. Speculating a little, he may have hurt his arm when he dove a few innings ago in center.
WILD THING (3:17, TOP 5, 5-3 RANGERS)
Matsuzaka has no walks today, but his wildness managed to hurt him, anyway. After he struck out the first two batters of the fifth — giving him eight for the day — Cruz knocked a triple off the garage door in center. With Murphy batting, Matsuzaka bounced one in front of Varitek, and the ball squirted by him. Cruz scampered home and slid in to give the Rangers some breathing room. Murphy singled, but Byrd popped to second to end the inning. Masterson was warming up again when the inning ended.
KOTSAY GOES DEEP (3:04, END 4, 4-3 RANGERS)
Making his first start this season, Kotsay hit his first home run while with the Red Sox, a blast to rightfield that scored only him. The Sox pulled within one. Ortiz struck out looking to lead off, Varitek grounded to second and Padilla deflected a hard chopper up the middle, and Green popped to shallow right.
ELLSBURY GETS DIRTY (2:57, MID 4, 4-2 RANGERS)
Matsuzaka retired the Rangers 1-2-3 and got through with a welcome eight-pitch inning, but he needed help from Ellsbury. Matsuzaka struck out Teagarden and induced a grounder to second from Vizquel. Kinsler lashed a liner to center. Ellsbury sprinted back to the triangle and made a running, stumbling catch, sliding on his chest across the warning track dirt. What a great catch.
SOX LEAVE ‘EM LOADED (2:50, END 3, 4-2 RANGERS)
Bay struck out looking at a 1-2, 96-mph fastball over the outside corner, and Lowell chopped the first pitch he saw to Kinsler for an easy out. The Red Sox had just one hit during the inning. Ellsbury’s dash, for the record, was ruled a two-base error on Kinsler. He was given one RBI, but not two.
ELLSBURY SCORES TWO, TAKES TWO (2:47, BOT 3, 4-2 RANGERS)
Ellsbury ripped a grounder up the middle, but Kinsler had him played perfectly. He crouched to make a backhanded play, but the ball skipped off his foot and into shallow right-center. Varitek came home easily, and Kotsay scooted home from second. Byrd, in center, picked the ball up as Ellsbury made a wide turn. He lofted the ball in, and Ellsbury broke for second. Vizquel caught the ball and was stunned that Ellsbury had tried for second; he didn’t even realize Ellsbury had bolted. Vizquel could have tagged him, but he didn’t put his glove on the ground until Ellsbury had slid in.
Youkilis followed with a walk, loading the bases with one still for Bay.
SOMETHING BREWING (2:39, BOT 3, 4-0 RANGERS)
The Sox have the bases loaded with one out and Ellsbury at the plate. Varitek walked, Mark Kotsay singled, Green flied deep to right-center, and Pedroia walked.
MATSUZAKA ESCAPES (2:31, MID 3, 4-0 RANGERS)
Davis stranded Murphy and bailed out Matsuzka when he struck out swinging at a 92-mph fastball over the inside half of the plate. The Rangers hit the ball hard that inning, even Byrd’s shot to Green. They have seven hits in three inning off Dice-K.
MATSUZAKA ON THE ROPES (2:28, TOP 3, 4-0 RANGERS)
The Rangers pounded Matsuzaka for a single and two doubles with one out, giving them a four-run lead. Justin Masterson began throwing in the Red Sox bullpen, and John Farrell came out for a chat. The big blows were back-to-back doubles by Cruz and Murphy, and both were crushed. Byrd lined a one-hopper to short, and Nick Green made a nice play. Pitching to Chris Davis, Matsuzaka has thrown 59 pitches for the game.
ONE HAWK, NO RUNS (2:17, END 2, 2-0 RANGERS)
No squirell sightings at Fenway today, but a hawk circled the whole field. The crowd cheered as it swooped into the park from right field, flew into the infield, then doubled back and a lap from above the Sox dugout and eventually out of the park over left.
Meanwhile, Bay walked to lead off the inning, but Mike Lowell struck out and David Ortiz, after a nice ovation, flied to left. With Jason Varitek batting, Bay tried to steal second, but Teagarden threw him out.
RANGERS ADD ANOTHER (2:07, MID 2, 2-0 RANGERS)
The Rangers smacked three singles for a run. David Murphy and Marlon Byrd led off with singles, and Matsuzaka appeared ready to escape the jam when Chris Davis flied to left and Taylor Teagarden struck out swinging at an 84-mph slider on a 3-2 pitch.
Matsuzaka only needed to retire Omar Vizquel, but he lined a pitch to left. Bay fielded the ball and fired an oddly soft throw to cut-off man Mike Lowell. Murhpy just beat Lowell’s relay, and the Rangers had a two-run lead. Kinsler lined to Bay to end the inning.
YOUKILIS PICKED (1:54, END 1, 1-0 RANGERS)
After Dustin Pedroia popped to right and Jacoby Ellsbury grounded hard to first, Kevin Youkilis nearly tied the game. He launched a high liner to left-center, which banged the top of the Monster about three feet from being a home run. He settled for a double, but with Jason Bay batting, Kinsler snuck over from second base. Pitcher Vicente Padilla spun off the mound and fired a BB right on the left side of the base, a perfect pickoff that caught Youkilis off guard and ended the inning.
DICE Ks SIDE (1:47, MID 1, 1-0 RANGERS)
Matsuzka bounced back nicely from the home run he gave up to Young, striking out Nelson Cruz looking at a 1-2 slider to end the inning. Matsuzaka needed 21 pitches to strike out three and give up a home run. He threw at least two balls to the first three hitters.
YOUNG IS SERVED (1:43, TOP 1, 1-0 RANGERS)
Daisuke Matsuzaka’s strong start — he struck out Ian Kinsler on a 3-2 pitch — didn’t last long. Michael Young, the next batter, laced a 2-2 pitch the other way over the rightfieldd fence and into the Red Sox bullpen. Matsuzaka struck out three hitter Hank Blalock, and he’s already used 17 pitches.