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When the Texas Rangers tied the game in the sixth inning at one run a piece, the game certainly had the feel of another loss for the Boston ball club in what has been a difficult 2012 season. However, if there’s one thing we’ve learned about the team this year, it’s that they always manage to stay close to the .500 mark, and with the 2-1 win they climbed back up to 49-49 on the season.
Mike Aviles was the hero in the ninth inning, blooping a base hit just out of reach of a leaping Elvis Andrus, scoring Daniel Nava who earned a two out walk earlier in the frame against Joe Nathan. The rest of the Sox offense was provided by Kelly Shoppach, who doubled in the fourth to give the team a 1-0 lead.
Clay Buchholz delivered another strong outing as he continues to be the only consistent Red Sox starter lately. He was tremendously effective over seven innings of work, allowing only four hits and one run against the fierce Rangers lineup. Buchholz struck out a single batter and walked three, but the seven innings of work lowered his ERA on the year to 4.93 as he appears to be headed in the right direction.
Vicente Padilla worked a scoreless eighth, but the inning had plenty of drama. After a one out single by Andrus, Padilla attempted to pick off the speedy shortstop but an errant throw enabled Andrus to advance all the way to third. With two outs, Padilla plunked former Red Sox Adrian Beltre in the head with a pitch registered over 90 MPH, removing Beltre from the game.
Alfredo Aceves managed to close out the victory despite some two out drama. After recording the first two outs on just two pitches, Aceves walked Mike Napoli, putting the winning run at the plate for Craig Gentry, who swung at the first pitch as well and popped out to Adrian Gonzalez in foul territory.
Wednesday night, the teams will meet in the rubber match of the series when Josh Beckett faces Derek Holland. Beckett has been a subject of conversation lately both for his potential trade value and his struggles in the first innings of games. It should be interesting to see how he fairs against the strong Rangers lineup.
Tags: Adrian Beltre, Alfredo Aceves, Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, Craig Gentry, Daniel Nava, Derek Holland, Elvis Andrus, Joe Nathan, Josh Beckett, Kelly Shoppach, Mike Aviles, Mike Napoli, Texas Rangers, Vicente Padilla