ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — There are no scoring debates when Red Sox slugger David Ortiz hits towering home runs and scorching liners into the right-field corner.
A night after Boston managed only one hit off Texas ace Yu Darvish, though Ortiz believes it should be two, the Red Sox were hitting from the start Saturday in an 8-3 win over the Rangers.
“The attitude in the clubhouse early before the game was nothing about last night,” manager John Farrell said. “It was more about how we were going to attack (Martin) Perez, and we did a very good job.”
Ortiz broke up Darvish’s no-hit bid Friday night with a clean single with two outs in the ninth inning.
There was also his towering flyball in the seventh that dropped untouched but was ruled an error after Darvish had retired the first 20 Boston hitters — a scoring decision Ortiz indicated Saturday that he will appeal, though he felt the Red Sox as a group put their struggles behind them.
“Oh, you have to. It’s not like there’s any other choice,” Ortiz said. “You got to come back and play the game.”
Shane Victorino had three singles and drove in four runs.
Ortiz pulled the first pitch of the third off Perez (4-3) into the right-field seats for his seventh homer. His double came an inning later, when he scored as a part of a four-run outburst for a 6-0 Red Sox lead.
Asked about the unquestionable hits he had this time, Ortiz laughed, licked his thumb and made a motion with it to match what he said, “Turn the page.”
Jon Lester (4-4) limited Texas to three runs and four hits over seven innings. The lefty, coming off a career-high 15 strikeouts in a week earlier against Oakland, struck out eight more to match Detroit’s Max Scherzer at 66 for the American League lead.
“I got away with a lot of pitches, we were able to keep them off balance just enough to get some foul balls and some bad contact,” Lester said. “Definitely a grind tonight.”
The Rangers didn’t have a base runner against Lester until Shin-Soo Choo led off the fourth with a double to deep center beyond the reach of center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. He came home on a sacrifice fly by Prince Fielder before Alex Rios added an RBI triple.
Boston went ahead to stay in the second after loading the bases with two outs. Victorino singled to center to drive in a run, but Bradley was thrown out at the plate trying to score a second run.
The homer by Ortiz was his 380th with the Red Sox, breaking a tie with Dwight Evans for fourth on the career list. Jim Rice is third on the list at 382. It was his 19th homer at Texas, one short of Jason Giambi for the most by an opponent there.
Victorino and Jonny Gomes each had two-run singles in the fourth.
Perez lost his third consecutive start since the end of his 26-inning scoreless streak. The left-hander allowed six runs and 14 base runners (nine hits, four walks and a hit batter) in only 3 2-3 innings.
“I don’t know if something’s out of whack, but it didn’t seem like he could get in a rhythm,” manager Ron Washington said.
Perez has given up 19 runs over 13 1-3 innings the past three games, and his ERA has more than tripled in that span — from 1.42 to 4.38.
“Too many balls, man. Trying to overthrow,” Perez said. “I think I get mad and when I get mad I lose my mind. … And I think that happened with me tonight.”
Notes: Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus, who significantly trimmed his beard reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln’s, stretched his hitting streak to seven games with an RBI double in the fifth. … Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux was ejected in the eighth inning by first-base umpire Vic Carapazza. Washington said it was for arguing balls and strikes. …. Boston RH John Lackey, a Texas native, is scheduled in Sunday’s season series finale to make his 20th career road start against the Rangers. That will break his tie with Seattle’s Felix Hernandez for the most by a Texas opponent. … Texas lefty Robbie Ross (1-3), who starts Sunday, has lost three straight starts and each of his past two games have ended as 12-1 Rangers losses.
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