Rangers Top Red Sox 6-3 To Claim MLB’s Best Record
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BOSTON (AP) - Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs, Derek Holland pitched seven solid innings and the red-hot Texas Rangers completed a two-game sweep with a 6-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.
Josh Hamilton had three singles and drove in a run for the Rangers, who won their sixth straight.
It was Napoli’s fourth home run in three games to go along with a two-run double. He hit a pair of homers in the Rangers’ lopsided win Tuesday.
Kevin Youkilis had a two-run homer for the Red Sox, who dropped their third consecutive game, and Josh Beckett (1-2) took the loss despite holding the Rangers down one night after they hit six homers in an 18-3 win.
Holland (2-0) held Boston to two runs on four hits, walking three and fanning seven.
Boston has lost eight of its last 10 games at Fenway Park against the Rangers.
The Red Sox have lost eight of their first 12 games this season heading into their first matchup against the rival Yankees, who come to town Friday for Fenway’s100th anniversary celebration.
Unlike Tuesday when the Rangers pounded Boston’s pitching en route to the easy win, they relied on the formula that’s helped them to the MLB’s best record.
Texas, which improved to 10-2, once again got strong starting pitching. The Rangers’ starters have opened the season 8-0 for the first time in club history and posted a 1.84 ERA in their last eight games, allowing three runs or fewer in the previous six.
Beckett allowed three runs on seven hits, striking out seven and walking one. It was his second straight strong start, coming off an eight-inning, one-run outing when he got the victory over Tampa Bay in Boston’s home opener last Friday.
Pinch hitter Jarrod Saltamacchia lined into a game-ending double play against Joe Nathan with runners on first and third.
Trailing 2-0 in the third, the Rangers cut the deficit in half on Hamilton’s RBI single. Ian Kinsler walked with one out and advanced to third on Elvis Andrus’ single, but Andrus was cut down at second by left fielder Darnell McDonald. Hamilton then bounced one up the middle that second baseman Dustin Pedroia made a diving play on, but was unable to get a strong throw to first.
Texas jumped ahead 3-2 in the fourth when Napoli homered into the Green Monster seats after David Murphy singled. Napoli later doubled off the left-field wall, making it 6-2 in the eighth. The catcher has gone 7 for 13 with nine RBIs in his last three games.
Boston had taken a 2-0 lead in the second when Youkilis homered off the base of a light tower above the Monster.
Youkilis struck out in each of his four at-bats Tuesday, two days after manager Bobby Valentine questioned his commitment to the game in a taped TV appearance, then apologized the following morning.
Hamilton is 11 for 18 with nine RBIs in his last four games.
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