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Don’t Mess With Texas Rangers

Terry Francona argues a call of safe at 2nd base of a Rangers' stolen base in the 2nd inning.

Unfortunately, the Red Sox returned to their losing ways in Saturday’s night game with the Rangers, losing 7-2. The Sox offense was provided by Jason Bay in the 4th and Victor Martinez in the 5th, with each of them supplying solo home runs. Meanwhile, Texas scored through a methodical hit and run approach including hot bats and a whopping eight stolen bases on the night.

Brad Penny pitched 5.2 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits. His counterpart, Derek Holland, pitched 6.2 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits. This would be the difference in the game, as the Rangers would tack on one run against Ramon Ramirez and two against Fernando Cabrera, though the game was clearly decided by the starters.

The Red Sox are now a half game ahead of Texas for the Wild Card and 7.5 games behind the Yankees for the AL East. The Yankees beat the Mariners 5-2 Saturday night to extend their division lead.

Sox Studs of the Game: Jason Bay and Victor Martinez

These two provided the only good Red Sox offense of the night with solo home runs. Other periodic base runners for the Sox were all squandered.

Sox Duds of the Game: Brad Penny and Jason Varitek

The Rangers stole a team record eight stolen bases tonight, six of them against Penny. They were not caught once, which led directly led to many of the Rangers’ runs. Penny has a slow delivery and Varitek’s arm isn’t what it used to be, which is not a good combination.

That’s What “He” Said:

“We needed a shortstop who could make the routine plays at short and not be a defensive liability.” – nick040708, on about the Red Sox need for a quality shortstop.

Game Notes:

W: Derek Holland (6-7)
L: Brad Penny (7-7)
S: Neftali Feliz (1)

  • Brad Penny threw a season high 121 pitches in 5.2 innings Saturday; he still hasn’t gone 7.0 innings in a start all season.
  • Texas’ eight steals set a team record.
  • Brad Penny has now allowed 27 stolen bases this season; this is the most of any major league pitcher this season.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury stole his 53rd base of the season in the 7th; the team record is 54.
  • Ramon Ramirez balked in a run in the 7th when he stepped toward 3rd base before throwing to 1st; this wasn’t a balk, but the run likely would have scored anyway on the next play.
  • Rangers 2nd baseman Ian Kinsler was hit in the head with a pitch from Fernando Cabrera in the 8th.
  • 2009 Red Sox Debuts: Brian Anderson was 1 for 3, and Alex Gonzalez was 0 for 4.

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