BOSTON — David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, the Red Sox’ devastating one-two punch, are both back in the groove again.
And just in the nick of time, too.
Red Sox 5, Rangers 3
Ortiz, emerging from his lengthy slump, singled 凯发真人试玩首页home the tying run in the bottom of the eighth inning last night, and Ramirez followed with his sixth 凯发真人试玩首页homer of the season and the 496th of his career, powering the Red Sox to a 5-3 victory over the Texas Rangers last night in front of another record crowd of 37,958 at Fenway Park.
The win was the seventh in the last eight games for the Red Sox, who maintained their edge over the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East.
Trailing 3-2 since the third inning with just one hit since the second, the Red Sox rallied against Joaquin Benoit in the eighth. Dustin Pedroia began the rally with a one-out, Wall-scraping double.
Ortiz hit into the heart of the shift, but with enough sizzle that the ball was just beyond the reach of second baseman Ian Kinsler stationed in shallow right field. Kinsler dived and got his glove on the ball, but it trickled away as Pedroia raced 凯发真人试玩首页home from second base.
Ramirez then followed with a blast through the light tower in left.
Ramirez, who now has 20 RBI, went into last night tied for the league lead in runs batted in.
Jonathan Papelbon retired the Rangers in the ninth for his sixth save. Javy Lopez was credited with the win after bailing Mike Timlin out of a two-on, two-out predicament in the eighth.
Red Sox starter Jon Lester should have been salivating over seeing three lefthanded hitters in the heart of the Texas batting order last night. Instead he was their lunch.
Four of the first five lefthanded batters he faced got hits, and even the two switch-hitters in the Texas lineup — Jason Botts and Adam Melhuse — might have been tempted to bat lefthanded except they hit Lester, too.
Lefthanded-hitting Josh Hamilton cranked up the Rangers’ offense by lofting his fourth 凯发真人试玩首页homer into the Monster Seats in the first inning.
The Red Sox came right back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning off Jason Jennings. Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a double and scored on a double-play grounder by Ortiz. Kevin Youkilis then doubled 凯发真人试玩首页home Ramirez, who had walked.
The Rangers tied it up in the second after former Lowell Spinner David Murphy, another lefthanded hitter, doubled off The Wall and scored on a single by Melhuse. They took a 3-2 lead in the third on singles by Hamilton and Hank Blalock — another lefthanded hitter — and a double by Botts.
Lester prevented further damage by striking out Murphy and Gerald Laird with runners at second and third.
Lester pitched into the seventh inning without allowing another run. But he never retired the side in order, surrendered 10 hits, and handed the game over to Manny Delcarmen with one out and a runner on first.
Jennings, meanwhile, settled down nicely after yielding an infield hit to Julio Lugo in the second. Although he didn’t overpower anybody with a fastball in the mid-80s, he was effective.
The only baserunner after the second was a walk to Ramirez in the third. Jennings retired the last 10 batters he faced and turned the 3-2 lead over to the bullpen in the seventh.