Rangers 6, Red Sox 5
BOSTON (AP)—The Texas Rangers didn’t want to give Boston too much confidence going into the All-Star break.
“Now we know we can play with these guys,” reliever Francisco Cordero said Sunday after helping the Rangers turn back a Red Sox rally to beat Boston 6-5.
“It’s exciting to pitch well in this atmosphere because it shows me I can get the job done in front of this type of crowd.”
Cordero could be seeing more crowds like the one that filled Fenway Park hoping to see the streaking Red Sox finish the first half with an undefeated homestand. Instead, Texas snapped Boston’s five-game win streak to enter the All-Star break leading the AL West for the first time since 1999.
The Rangers have a two-game lead over the Oakland Athletics in the division. Boston leads the A’s by one game in the AL wild-card race.
Alfonso Soriano homered and had a tie-breaking sacrifice fly off Keith Foulke (2-2) in the eighth inning after Boston came back from a 5-2 deficit to tie it. Eric Young went 5-for-5, and Kevin Mench and Mark Teixeira also homered for the Rangers.
“It was an outstanding game of two teams saying, ‘See you in September,”’ Young said. “We should feel good about how we performed in the first half. Now we’ve got something to build on.”
Cordero pitched two innings for his 27th save.
Cordero walked Bill Mueller to lead off the ninth, then got pinch-hitter Manny Ramirez to pop up behind second base, where Soriano made a nice play for the out. Pinch-runner Pokey Reese was picked off first base and Damon reached on third baseman Hank Blalock’s error.
Damon stole second and took third when the throw from catcher Danny Ardoin hit him and rolled into the outfield.
Cordero struck Bellhorn out looking on a 3-2 pitch to end the game. Replays showed the pitch low and away.
“That was horrendous,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “That doesn’t help us now.”
The Rangers, who had a total of eight hits in losing the first two games of the series, had 17 on Sunday.
Foulke entered a tie game in the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Rod Barajas followed by a double to Michael Young. Foulke struck out Blalock before Soriano hit a sacrifice fly to left that easily scored the go-ahead run.
Foulke allowed a run on four hits in two innings, walking one and striking out two.
Texas took a 3-0 lead off Tim Wakefield in the second when Teixeira hit a leadoff homer, Eric Young singled and then Mench homered. Boston came within a run in the fourth when Ortiz hit an RBI double and came around to score on a pair of groundouts.
But the Rangers made it 4-2 in the fifth on Soriano’s homer and 5-2 in the seventh when he walked, took third on Brad Fullmer’s single and scored onTeixeira’s sacrifice fly.
Ramirez was a late scratch from Boston’s lineup with tightness in both hamstrings, but he’s expected to start in Tuesday’s All-Star game. … OF Ellis Burks made his way around the Red Sox clubhouse Sunday without crutches for the first time since Thursday’s follow-up surgery on his left knee. He’s expected to miss another six-to-eight weeks. … Damon’s homer took Wakefield off the hook for the loss. Wakefield allowed five runs on 12 hits a walk and a hit batter in six-plus innings, striking out five. It also cost Texas’ Ryan Drese his first victory in four starts. He gave up two runs on four hits, a walk and a hit batter and struck out three. … Boston is in second place at the breakfor the fourth consecutive year, and the sixth time in seven seasons.