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The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mike Aviles looped a soft liner to left field off Texas closer Joe Nathan to drive in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning and lift the Boston Red Sox to a 2-1 victory Tuesday night at Rangers Ballpark.

Boston evened its record at 49-49 and the series with Texas at 1-1, while the Rangers fell to 57-39. The three-game set ends Wednesday night.

The Red Sox started the unlikely rally with two outs in the ninth inning with a pair of walks against Nathan, who had issued only five free passes all season coming into the game.

Aviles fought off a full-count offering from Nathan and knocked it just inches over the outstretched glove of Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus to score Daniel Nava with the go-ahead run.

Red Sox closer Alfredo Aceves worked around a two-out walk to Mike Napoli to nail down his 21st save. Vicente Padilla (4-0) picked up the win for Boston after pitching one inning in relief for starter Clay Buchholz, who went strong seven innings and allowed the lone Texas run.

For the second consecutive night, the Rangers had a fill-in on the mound. Promising 21-year-old rookie Martin Perez started in place of Colby Lewis, who is out for the season with an elbow injury.

Martin, just as Scott Feldman did the night before, held the Boston lineup in check. The Red Sox managed one run on five hits over six innings. But unlike the outburst in Monday's 9-1 Texas victory, the Rangers couldn't muster much off Buchholz and Co.

The Rangers also lost a pair of infielders during the game, with the most serious being Adrian Beltre in the eighth. The third baseman was helped off the field after getting beaned by Boston reliever Padilla.

The Rangers tied the game at 1-1 in the sixth on a double by Andrus, a wild pitch and a slow dribbler by Josh Hamilton that squirted by Buchholz to score the run.

Boston struck first, finally cashing in with a run in the fourth inning after threatening in the second and third. Cody Ross led off the fourth with a single and scored on a two-out double to right by Kelly Shoppach.

The Red Sox had Perez on the ropes in both the second and third, but the rookie lefty worked out of trouble. Boston loaded the bases in the second and left two on in the third, extending a run of futility with runners in scoring position.

The first inning had a promising start for the Rangers before turning on a dime. Leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler reached after being hit in the shoulder by a Buchholz pitch.

Boston's starter wasted little time erasing Kinsler by picking him off. Kinsler had a word for first base umpire Tim Tschida, who promptly tossed the Texas second baseman. Kinsler was replaced in the lineup by utility infielder Alberto Gonzalez.

NOTES: Trade speculation for a frontline starting pitcher has ramped up in Texas in the wake of Lewis' season-ending elbow injury. The Rangers, however, do have several internal candidates to move into the rotation, including Feldman and Tuesday's rookie starter Perez. There's also Alexi Ogando and Neftali Feliz, a pair of righties who have missed significant parts of the season due to injury. "We're looking at a lot of guys for that spot," Texas manager Ron Washington said. ... Boston left fielder Carl Crawford batted seventh in the lineup after hitting second in his first seven games since coming off the disabled list. He was hitless in the last two games (0-for-8) coming into Tuesday. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said Crawford would like to bat second against right-handers.
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