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The Red Sox began one of their most significant stretches of the 2012 season on Monday night, as the team opened a three-game series with the Texas Rangers. Unfortunately, the Sox bats were quiet and starter Felix Doubront couldn’t contain the Rangers lineup, with Boston falling to Texas by a final score of 9-1.
The Sox actually somehow had a lead in the game at one point. With two outs in the second inning, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia blasted his 19th home run of the year off of Rangers starter Scott Feldman. Saltalamacchia had two hits on the night, with a double later in the game that literally bounced off the top of the wall in center, nearly missing a second long ball.
The Sox offense as a team wasn’t too bad on Monday, but despite ten hits, they just couldn’t scrape across runs like the Rangers were. Four Boston batters had multi-hit games, including Dustin Pedroia, who had three singles.
Texas only scored in two innings on Monday night, but each of the two were disastrous for the Sox pitching staff. In the third inning, Doubront had been pitching well, but the first two Rangers runs scored when Pedroia ranged to his right and threw a ball over Adrian Gonzalez‘s head at first base, allowing two runs to score. The team tacked on a couple more, one coming on a double by Josh Hamilton, who eventually came around to score.
The second terrible inning came in the sixth inning, with the first two were charged to Doubront after he surrendered a home run to Mike Napoli. With Franklin Morales on the mound, Ian Kinsler knocked in a run later in the inning, singling to left field and advancing all the way to third base when Carl Crawford missed the ball. That set up an sac fly opportunity for Hamilton, who drove in the team’s ninth and final run.
The game is certainly one of those the Sox will try and forget about as soon as possible. With two more games remaining in Texas followed by a weekend series in the Bronx, they don’t have much choice in the matter.
Tuesday night, Clay Buchholz takes to the hill as he attempts to continue his strong pitching as of late. Buchholz has been the best Sox starter over the last few weeks.