Rangers win; Kinsler, Cruz homer in three straight

Posted: 04/04/2011 in MLB

Rangers batter Boston again to finish sweep


David Murphy went 2-for-4 and hit the first of four solo homers the Texas Rangers used to beat the Boston Red Sox, 5-1, and complete the three-game series sweep.

Rangers starter Matt Harrison (1-0) limited Boston to one run and five hits in seven innings, during which he struck out eight. The left-hander threw 71 of his 108 pitches for strikes, and was backed by his teammates’ power display.

Ian Kinsler, Mike Napoli and Nelson Cruz also homered for Texas, which scored 26 runs and hit 11 home runs in the series, knocking around Boston’s top starters.

After Jon Lester and John Lackey struggled in the first two games of the set for the Red Sox, Clay Buchholz gave up all four homers in 6 1/3 innings Sunday.

“I think everybody’s a little bit shocked,” Buchholz said. “But like I said, we have a lot of games left. A lot of room to improve. I wouldn’t read too deep into it.”

Murphy got the first of the blasts in the second inning, when he dropped his bat head on a sinking, inside pitch and sent it several rows into the right field stands.

Kinsler, who smacked a leadoff homer in the Rangers’ first two games, made it a 2-0 game in the third. He pulled a pitch, which Buchholz left a few inches above the knees, over the left field fence.

Napoli slammed an elevated pitch to left-center in the fifth, and Boston’s best chance to get back into the game came in the seventh.

After Carl Crawford singled in Kevin Youkilis, there were runners on first and second with one out. Harrison retired Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but threw a wild pitch to allow the runners to advance. He then walked Darnell McDonald to load the bases.

However, Harrison got Jacoby Ellsbury swinging to end the threat, and Cruz’s opposite field blast with one away in the seventh pushed Texas’ lead to 4-1.

Like Kinsler, the homer was Cruz’s third of the season. According to the Rangers, they became the first pair of teammates in MLB history to homer in each of their team’s first three games of the season.

“We’re not trying to,” Kinsler said. “But right now we’re getting a little bit lucky, getting some pitches to hit, and it’s working well.”

Michael Young added an RBI double in the eighth.

– Steve



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