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The Red Sox managed to avoid another loss in wild fashion against the Rangers on Wednesday night, with more unlikely heroes emerging to send Texas to its sixth straight defeat in an 8-7 win in 12 innings.
Josh Beckett was far from magnificent, allowing seven runs on seven hits and five walks over seven innings pitched. He gutted through the game after a rough early start, as he dug the Red Sox in a 4-0 hole after allowing one run in the first and three more in the second.
Starting in place of David Ortiz at DH against lefthander Matt Harrison, Mike Lowell clubbed his first home run of the year (he has one more than Mr. Ortiz) to get the Red Sox closer. Facing a 4-1 deficit, J.D. Drew hit a surprising grand slam later on in the third inning, scoring Bill Hall, Darnell McDonald, and Marco Scutaro (what a trio).
The Sox pushed the lead to 7-4 with another home run from the out-of-nowhere Darnell McDonald and an RBI single from Lowell. Staked with that lead, Beckett calmed down and battled through to the seventh inning.
With one out in the seventh and the heart of the order coming to the plate, Beckett allowed a game-tying three-run HR to Josh Hamilton before retiring Vladimir Guerrero and Nelson Cruz on line-outs.
Seemingly the only bright spot all season, the bullpen did their job in protecting the tie. Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon eached gave the Sox two scoreless innings, and Hideki Okajima capped it off with a scoreless inning in the 12th.
In the bottom of the 12th, Kevin Youkilis doubled off the wall to score Scutaro, giving the Red Sox another dramatic win, 8-7.
Maybe the Red Sox have already decided this, but it looks like Mike Lowell should DH against lefthanded hitters, and David Ortiz should get his groove back against righties. Against the lefty on Wednesday night, Lowell blasted a solo shot and an RBI single, giving him 1 HR and 2 RBIs and a .375 batting average in just five games this season. Kudos also to J.D. Drew, whose GS kept the Sox alive.
While he’s still hitting .316, Varitek had a forgettable night behind the plate on Wednesday night. He finished 0-5 with four strikeouts at the dish, and allowed three more stolen bases (Elvis Andrus, and 2 to Julio Borbon).
“At least we won the game,” Beckett said. “It makes me feel a lot better. These guys deserve all the credit.”
W: Hideki Okajima (2-1)
L: Dustin Nippert (0-2)