ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — JD Martinez extended his run on base to 31 games with a home run in the first inning, 42-year-old Rich Hill pitched seventh in his comeback from the COVID-19 roster and the Boston Red Sox took their first series win in a month with an 11-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.
Rafael Devers also homered for Boston, which scored a season high on points and won the first two in the three-game weekend series. Kiké Hernández batted in three runs — with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, a fielder’s choice grounder in the fourth and a double in the fifth.
The Red Sox (13-20) had won only one of their first ten series, winning two of their three in Detroit April 11-13 during the first week of the season. Since then, they had gone 0-6-2 in their streak, which included splitting two games at World Series champions Atlanta earlier this week to sink to the bottom of the AL East standings.
Hill (1-1) threw 64 of his 94 strikeout pitches in his first start since May 5. The lefthander struckout four batters while giving up three runs and seven hits, the final two-run double by Kole Calhoun after Texas led off the seventh with consecutive singles.
Martinez went deep on a full-count pitch with two outs in the first off rookie Glenn Otto (1-1). It was his fourth homer this season and extended his best batting streak in majors to 15 games. Martinez also singled and walked twice, while continuing the longest streak on base in his career, including all 26 games he has played this season.
Otto struckout four batters and walked four while pitching in the fifth. He gave up eight runs and eight hits.
Texas even got into the bottom of the first inning when leadoff hitter Eli White reached on an error by second baseman Trevor Story, then stole second and third base before going home on Corey Seager’s single. Seager was 3 for 28, all those hits solo home runs, his previous eight games.
The Red Sox took control with a four-run second inning that was capped by Devers’ two-run homer, a liner from the opposite field that bounced off the left field post for a 5-1 lead.
Red Sox: LF Alex Verdugo dropped out of the lineup with a bruised right foot. He got out in the seventh inning of Friday’s game on an error on a pitch by his foot. Manager Alex Cora said Verdugo was still in pain but the x-rays were negative.
Rangers: RHP Jon Gray will wear a brace around his left knee when he starts Monday against the Los Angeles Angels, exactly one week after he left his last start with a knee injury. Gray got through a bullpen session on Saturday with no problems.
Rangers lefthander Martin Perez (1-2, 2.10 ERA), who has allowed only two earned runs in 26 1/3 innings (0.68 ERA) in his last four starts after losing his first two, goes into season finale against Boston. He pitched for the Red Sox the past two seasons before rejoining his original MLB team this spring.
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