BOSTON (AP) Mike Napoli hit two of Texas’ six home runs and the Rangers romped past the Boston Red Sox 18-3 Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.
Texas finished with a season-high 21 hits, tagging Jon Lester for eight of them before the Boston ace was pulled in the third inning. The Rangers provided more than enough run support for Colby Lewis (2-0), who settled down after a shaky start and finished pitched seven solid innings.
It was the most home runs for the Rangers in a game since they hit six against Detroit in August 2008.
Boston star Kevin Youkilis struck out in all four of his at-bats. He did not play Monday because of a minor groin injury on a tense day at Fenway Park – Boston manager Bobby Valentine had apologized for remarks that criticized Youkilis.
The Rangers scored four times in the second and added three more in the third for a 7-2 lead.
They broke it open with an eight-run eighth that included a three-run homer by Hamilton and shots by Beltre and Cruz. The big inning came to an end when Beltre flied out and Boston fans gave the Red Sox a series of mock cheers.
The Rangers had long-since ruined any thoughts fans may have had about celebrating Fenway’s 100th anniversary a few days early.
Texas chased Lester (0-2) in the third after his control struggles left the bases loaded and nobody out. Lester threw 49 pitches in the second and allowed seven runs on eight hits and walked four. His ERA more than doubled, going from 2.40 to 5.82 by the time the Rangers were done with him.
It was a short-lived lead.
Cruz doubled with one out in the second and Napoli homered over the Green Monster. The Rangers added two more before Young, who led off the inning by striking out, ended it with a grounder to first. Young was the only Texas player not to reach base in the inning.
Lewis was starting in place of rookie Yu Darvish, who was pushed back a spot in the rotation in so he could have four days of rest between starts. He allowed just the two runs on Pedroia’s homer, struck out seven and didn’t walk anybody.
Adrian Gonzalez added a solo homer for Boston in the eighth.
NOTES: Texas 1B Mitch Moreland returned to the club after having surgery on an infected abscessed tooth, causing him to miss two games. … Darvish (1-0) is scheduled to start Wednesday against Boston RHP Josh Beckett (1-1). … Boston OF Carl Crawford had four at-bats Tuesday in an extended spring training game in Florida for his first playing time since having surgery on his left wrist. Valentine said Crawford walked once, made contact the other three times and felt good afterward. … Valentine said there is no timetable for the return of CF Jacoby Ellsbury, who is out with a partially separated right shoulder. … Valentine let it slip that the Red Sox will be wearing throwback uniforms on Friday night when they host the Yankees on the 100th anniversary of the first game major league game played at Fenway Park. The Red Sox have not announced anything about the uniforms.