Game over: Rangers 12, Red Sox 5
After their Opening Day flop, the Red Sox hardly redeemed themselves in Game 2 of the 2011 season, getting bludgeoned by the Rangers, 12-5, Saturday night before a crowd of 48,356 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
John Lackey, who entered the game 6-5 with a 6.11 ERA (57 earned runs/84 innings pitched) in 16 starts at Rangers Ballpark, experienced more torture in his personal house of horrors after allowing nine runs on 10 hits, 2 walks (1 intentional), 3 strikeouts and 2 home runs, including a grand slam by Adrian Beltre that served as the crowning blow of a six-run eruption in the fourth inning that blew the game open, 9-3.
Ian Kinsler opened the floodgates of Texas’s 15-hit barrage when he stroked a lead-off homer off Lackey, becoming the first player in Major League history to hit back-to-back lead off homers in his first two games of the season.
David Ortiz established a Major League-record for RBI by a DH (1,004) , breaking the tie he shared with Edgar Martinez, when he hit a 2-run homer in the second inning and then drove home another run in the third on a sacrifice ground out.
Top 7th: Rangers 12, Sox 5
Jacoby Ellsbury hit his first HR of the season, a two-run job off Tobin. He scored Saltalamacchia who led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. Dennys Reyes was summoned to relieve Wakefield (1.2 innings, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 home run) in the bottom of the seventh.
Bottom 6th: Rangers 12, Sox 3
The beat goes on. Nelson Cruz crushes a Wakefield 1-2 offering to center field 419 feet away. Colby Lewis (6 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs (earned), 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 1 home run) will turn it over to RHP Mason Tobin, who will make his Major League debut in the top of the seventh.
Bottom 5th: Rangers 11, Sox 3
What…a…beating! Rangers continue to pour it on after Yorvit Torrealba hits a 2-run homer off Dan Wheeler, depositing his 3-2 pitch some 395 feet away into the bleachers in left field. It is the sixth homer the Rangers have hit — so far — against the Sox in this season-opening series. Tim Wakefield is now up in the bullpe After Elvis Andrus singles to center, putting men on first and second (Julio Borbon; basehit), Wakefield relieves Wheeler and induces fly outs by Josh Hamilton and Beltre to end the inning.
Bottom 4th: Rangers 9, Sox 3
Lackey, who entered the game with a 6-5 record and a 6.11 ERA (57 earned runs in 84 innings) in 16 starts at Rangers Ballpark, experienced even more torment in his personal house of horrors when Texas erupted for six runs on five hits. The crushing blow was delievered by old friend Adrian Beltre, who unloaded on Lackey by hitting his ninth career grand slam. Lackey departed after allowing a basehit to Michael Young and handed the baton to Dan Wheeler. Lackey’s line: 3.2 innings, 10 hits, 9 runs (9 earned), 2 walks (1 intentional), 3 strikeouts, 2 home runs. The seven extra-base hits he allowed — 3 doubles, 2 triples, 1 solo homer, 1 grand slam — were a career high.
Top 4th: Rangers 3, Sox 3
Gonzalez singles to left to reach base for the second time in as many at-bats. Hmm, that extension should be coming soon. Youkilis doubles down the line to left to put men in scoring position for Ortiz. Yikes. Papi delivers with a sacrifice grounder to first, scoring Gonzalez with the tying run giving him a Major League-record 1,004 career RBIs as a DH, breaking the tie he shared with Edgar Martinez (1,003). Sox fail to break the tie with the Rangers, however, when they strand Youkilis at third after Drew grounds out to first and Saltalamacchia strikes out looking.
Asked before the season about the record, Ortiz said, “Right now it doesn’t mean anything to me. Probably, when I’m done playing baseball I might look at it. But I don’t pay attention to any of that. By the way, when it comes down to Edgar Martinez, it doesn’t matter how great the numbers I end up my career with, he’s always going to be the best of all time. I watched Edgar play and it can’t get any better than that.”
Bottom 3d: Rangers 3, Sox 2
After recording his third strikeout of the game, Lackey falters when he gives up a double to Kinsler (now a triple and single shy of the cycle), and then an RBI triple to Elvis Andrus that scores Kinsler with the tying run. Josh Hamilton then hits a bloop RBI single to shallow center to score Andrus with the go-ahead run. After Hamilton steals second, Lackey gets out of inning by inducing pop flies by 3B Adrian Beltre (right) and DH Michael Young (center).
Top 3d: Sox 2, Rangers 1
Lewis retires the Sox in order: Striking out Ellsbury (who contested the third called strike), getting Pedroia to fly out to left, and inducing Crawford to pop to short. Note on Kinsler’s lead-off homers: The last time the Sox allowed a batter to do the same in back-to-back games was when Detroit’s Ramon Santiago did so June 3-4, 2002.
Bottom 2d: Sox 2, Rangers 1
Lackey has a tidy 1-2-3 inning. He sandwiched a pair of strikeouts against Nelson Cruz and Yorvit Torrealba between a Keith Moreland pop fly to short. Lackey has now thrown 33 pitches (21 for strikes).
Top 2d: Sox 2, Rangers 1
Big Papi clouts another one. Against a strong headwind blowing in from the right field bleachers, Ortiz hits a towering blast 368 feet to right field for a 2-run homer, scoring Adrian Gonzalez, who reached on a lead-off single to right. He has now homered in back-to-back games for the first time since at Toronto last Aug. 12 and at Texas last Aug. 13. Papi now has 1,003 career RBI as a DH, tying Edgar Martinez for all-time lead.
Bottom 1st: Rangers 1, Sox 0
Ian Kinsler hits his 15th career lead-off HR, sending a 3-1 pitch by John Lackey deep to left-center, 399 feet away. It was his second lead-off homer in as many games. Kinsler took Jon Lester deep with a lead-off HR in Friday’s 9-5 win over the Sox.
Middle 1st: Sox 0, Rangers 0
Jacoby Ellsbury walks, but gets rubbed out when Dustin Pedroia hits into a 4-6-3 double play. Colby Lewis then induces Carl Crawford to ground out to second.
Pre-game Tonight is Game 2 of the 2010 season. John Lackey goes to the mound for the Red Sox and will be opposed by Colby Lewis of the Rangers. The defending American League champions are now on the field receiving their rings. No word on whether Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was the Ranger’s Opening Day catcher last year before he was traded to the Red Sox last July 31, was in line to get a ring.