Final: Rangers 3, Red Sox 1

SWEPT AWAY (11:10. END 9, 3-1 RANGERS)
The Red Sox went down in order with Varitek striking out, a fitting end to a dismal road trip. The Red Sox scored six runs in their series against the Rangers, and they have lost five straight games for the first time since last April. The Sox are down two games in the AL East — and up only 2.5 games over the Rangers in the AL Wild Card race.

LAST LICKS (11:03, END 8, 3-1 RANGERS)
Papelbon cruised through a 1-2-3 inning, and the Sox have one last chance to salvage their trip to Texas, which has been dreadful so far.


BRUTAL (10:57, MID 8, 3-1 RANGERS)
Three up, three down for the Sox again. Youkilis flied out, Ortiz grounded weakly to first, and Bay struck out swinging. J.D. Drew, who is 0 for his last 21, is due up to lead off the ninth.

Jonathan Papelbon is on to pitch.

OKIE OK (10:52, END 7, 3-1 RANGERS)
Marlon Byrd doubled to lead off the inning and Cruz walked, but Hideki Okajima got out of his inning without allowing a run. Now, can the Sox score?

Varitek singled to lead off the inning, but after Jacoby Ellsbury replaced him with a fielder’s choice, the Red Sox remained stuck on one run. Pedroia flied to deep right-center, but Cruz made a running catch, ending up tangled in the arms of Hamilton. They hugged and ran off the field. Someone is having fun tonight, and it is not the Red Sox.

MEN OF STEAL (10:33, END 6, 3-1 RANGERS)
Bard got through the inning by allowing only a single to Andrus while striking out two. Of course, Andrus stole second. Varitek and the Sox have allowed the Rangers to steal six of six bases, the most the Rangers have stolen in one game since 2000.


K FOR KOTSAY (10:19, MID 6, 3-1 RANGERS)
The Sox stranded Bay at third. Kotsay struck out swinging, following a swinging strike out by Drew.

Daniel Bard is coming on for the Sox. They’ve got a fresh bullpen after Josh Beckett’s complete game last night.

Dennis Nippert didn’t know he’d be pitching when he showed up at the yard today, but that didn’t stop him from perpetuating a horrific Red Sox slump. With Bay, who walked, on third, and two outs, he ceded to reliever Doug Mathis, who will face Mark Kotsay.

Delcarmen retired the Rangers in order after Byrd’s single, but a new problem emerged: the Sox can’t throw anyone out. Byrd stole second and, after Blalock struck out, ran into an out when Cruz’s hit tagged him in the leg. Cruz, on cue, stole second. The Rangers are 7 for 7 stealing bases this series. Murphy popped to Youkilis to end the inning.

Buchholz survived the fourth without any more damage, and the Red Sox had another rousing at the plate. Green and Ellsbury lined out, Pedroia singled, and Youkilis flied out.

Delcarmen is in to throw the fifth. Buchholz allowed three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three. He threw 90 pitches, 56 strikes. His pace on the mound brought to mind last year, which is a bad thing. Byrd lined a single to right on the first pitch Delcarmen threw.


While Buchholz labors, the Sox have fallen behind. Cruz led off with a single, and David Murphy pushed him to third with a single, which he took second on when Drew’s third needlessly went to third. Taylor Teagarden scored Cruz with a grounder to second.

Elvis Andrus followed with a squeeze bunt, which Buchholz fielded on a slide by the first base line. He turned to throw to first, but Pedroia had been charging rather than covering the bag, leaving the base unoccupied. The placement of the bunt and Andrus’s speed may have made him safe regardless. Anyway, the Sox trail by two, and Buchholz may be on the verge of exiting. He’s not done a good job of maintaining a smooth tempo, of one his primary issues last season.

KINSLER TIES IT (9:12, BOT 3, 1-1 SOX)
The lead didn’t last long. Kinsler led off the third by mashing a 2-2 offspeed pitch Buchholz left up for a solo home run. Michael Young followed with a single up the middle, but he was erased on fielder’s choice to Pedroia by Hamilton. One on, one out.

SOX CAN’T ADD ON (9:06, MID 3, 1-0 SOX)
With Pedroia on first, Youkilis flied to right. David Ortiz took a strange little half swing and poked the ball over the head of first baseman Hank Blalock for a single. Bay stranded the runners by flying out.

Buchholz has been mixing his pitches well tonight, relying more on his change than his curve when he goes offspeed.

GREEN GONE (8:56, TOP 3, 1-0 SOX)
After Buchholz struck out two and stranded a pair of runners in scoring position, Nick Green blasted a 406-foot home run to centerfield, the first run of the night. Green just crushed the pitch from Dennis Nippert, a lanky righty. Ellsbury grounded out, but Pedroia followed with a slow roller for a single through the right side.

RALLY DIES (8:38, MID 2, 0-0)
The Red Sox put men on first and second, which these days constitutes a rally. Ortiz led off with a flared single to center and J.D. Drew walked after Jason Bay lined to second. But Mark Kotsay struck out and Jason Varitek lined to left.

LONE STAR (8:26, END 1, 0-0)
Pitching in his home state for the first time, Buchholz had an easy first. He hit Ian Kinsler with the second pitch he threw, but things improved from there. He struck out Michael Young, induced a grounder by Josh Hamilton, and forced Marlon Byrd into a weak liner to second.

LOOKS FAMILIAR (8:14, MID 1, 0-0)
The Red Sox are trying to avoid their first five-game losing streak since last April, but their offense gave them nothing, again, in the first. Jacoby Ellsbury struck out looking. Dustin Pedroia grounded to third. Kevin Youkilis swung late on a high-and-tight, 96-mph fastball. Here comes Clay Buchholz.

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