BOSTON (AP)—Kevin Youkilis(notes) spoiled Cliff Lee’s(notes) bid for his second straight complete game. Then he ruined the Texas Rangers’ chance for their third consecutive win over the Boston Red Sox.
Youkilis doubled in the tying run in the ninth inning then drove in the winner with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the 11th and the Red Sox rallied for a 3-2 win Saturday night.
“I had the same approach all game,” Boston’s cleanup hitter said. “I was comfortable. I felt good.”
Marco Scutaro(notes) led off the 11th with a walk before Darnell McDonald(notes) bunted on a sacrifice attempt. Pitcher Alexi Ogando(notes) (3-1) fielded the ball and threw toward second, where it hit Scutaro and caromed into short left field. Scutaro went to third and McDonald took second. David Ortiz(notes) was walked intentionally, loading the bases with no outs.
“We had to get an out” on the bunt, Texas manager Ron Washington said. Ogando “tried to make a play and it didn’t work. If he gets him, everybody’s saying ‘what a great play.’ “
Boston’s ninth-inning rally ruined what could have been Lee’s second complete game in his two starts since being traded from Seattle. In his first, he threw just 95 pitches but gave up three homers in a 6-1 loss to Baltimore.
Texas, which lost its last four games before the All-Star break, had won the first two of the four-game series against Boston but is 5-9 in its past 14 games. The Red Sox won for just the third time in 10 games.
Lee was cruising all night, retiring 22 of 23 batters between the second and eighth. Then Scutaro led off the ninth with a single. He took second on a sacrifice by McDonald and third on a groundout to second by Ortiz. Youkilis then tied the game with a double down the left-field line.
“I was going right at him,” Lee said. “It worked for me all night. No reason for me to change my approach there. Obviously, I wish I could have that pitch back.”
After Jonathan Papelbon’s(notes) second straight perfect inning in the 10th, Mike Cameron(notes) hit Ogando’s first pitch toward Boston’s bullpen in right-center field. Right fielder Nelson Cruz(notes) raced back and caught it with a little jump and his glove draped over the low fence.
“You’re definitely aware of the other guy on the other team,” Lackey said. “Obviously, Lee being a great pitcher, you know you better not give up too many” runs.
Lee struggled a little early, allowing three of Boston’s first four batters to reach base on a double by McDonald, an RBI single by Ortiz and a single by Youkilis. Then Beltre grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Texas went ahead 2-1 in the sixth on RBI singles by Hamilton and Cruz.
Lackey watched the comeback from the dugout.
“I came back out there on the bench … ready to jump around,” he said. “It was a fun night.”
Through five innings, Lackey led 1-0, although the Rangers were caught stealing twice.
Their streak of 35 successful stolen base attempts against Boston ended when Cruz was thrown out going to third on an odd play in the second. Cruz had moved to second on a groundout before Chris Davis(notes) walked. As Davis headed toward first and Julio Borbon(notes) approached the batter’s box, Cruz ran to third and was thrown out on Lackey’s throw to third baseman Beltre.
Lackey lost the lead in the sixth after retiring the first two batters. Ian Kinsler(notes) singled, Guerrero walked and Hamilton tied the game with a single to left field. Cruz then singled to center, scoring Guerrero.
Then Youkilis brought Boston back.
“He’s just something else,” Washington said. “He just rises to the occasion.”
Notes: Kinsler extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the first. … The Red Sox called up C Dusty Brown(notes) from Pawtucket of the International League. They optioned LHP Felix Doubront(notes) to Pawtucket and designated RHP Fernando Cabrera(notes) for assignment. … Texas C Bengie Molina(notes) went 0 for 4 after hitting for the cycle with a grand slam in Friday night’s 8-4 win. … Elvis Andrus(notes) is hitless in his past 26 at-bats after going 0 for 5.