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Red Sox Bash Texas, 11-5

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Terry Francona, Ryan Lavarnway (LM Otero/AP Photo)

Terry Francona, Ryan Lavarnway (LM Otero/AP Photo)

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Adrian Gonzalez homered twice, Jacoby Ellsbury made an immediate impact in his return to the lineup and the Boston Red Sox finally won a game in Texas with an 11-5 victory Tuesday night.

Ellsbury led off the game with a single, stole second base and scored on the first homer by Gonzalez, putting the Red Sox ahead to stay. The All-Star center fielder had missed three straight games after getting hit in the back with a pitch.

Boston (78-50), which had lost its first four games at Rangers Ballpark this season, moved within two percentage points of
first-place New York in the AL East. The Yankees lost to Oakland.

Texas native John Lackey (12-9) pitched 6 2-3 innings for his seventh win in his last eight starts.

Colby Lewis (11-9) allowed seven runs and nine hits over six innings, including both homers to Gonzalez.

Gonzalez hit a 402-foot drive to left-center in the fourth, the solo shot putting the Red Sox up 7-3. It was his 20th homer of the season, and his 12th career multihomer game.

Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler had solo homers for the AL West-leading Rangers, who lost for the fourth time in six games.

Texas won the series opener of the potential playoff preview 4-0 when the Red Sox were limited to four singles Monday night.

Boston, which finished with 14 hits Tuesday, had already matched its hits total from the opener when Jed Lowrie and Carl Crawford had consecutive singles to start the second. Jarrod Saltalamacchia had an RBI double and Marco Scutaro a sacrifice fly in the inning for a 4-0 lead.

The Red Sox scored two more runs in the third –in a similar fashion though a different order. Josh Reddick and Lowrie had consecutive one-out singles before Crawford had a sacrifice fly and Ryan Lavarnway a run-scoring double.

Scutaro and Dustin Pedroia added two-run doubles off the left-field wall in the eighth against reliever Mark Lowe. Scutaro’s ball ricocheted off the very top of the 14-foot wall and umpires looked at replays to confirm their ruling of the ball being in play after Red Sox manager Terry Francona questioned the call.

Lackey has never particularly enjoyed pitching on the road against the Rangers. He entered with a 6-6 record and a 6.78 ERA in 17 career starts at Texas. That included nine runs in 3 2-3 innings in the season-opening series, when the Red Sox were swept in three games on the way to an 0-6 start.

This time, the big right-hander allowed four runs and seven hits with four strikeouts. He also made a nifty play to start an
inning-ending double play in the sixth.

Lackey fell down in front of the mound after grabbing Yorvit Torrealba’s comebacker. From his knee, Lackey turned and threw to second baseman Pedroia. He emphatically pumped his fist when the double play was completed.

After three consecutive singles to start the Texas fourth, Elvis Andrus drew a bases-loaded walk before Hamilton and Michael Young had consecutive sacrifice flies.

Hamilton hit his 17th homer in the fifth, and Kinsler his 21st in the ninth.

NOTES: Lewis has given up an AL-high 30 homers. … The Red Sox have hit a major league-leading 86 homers on the road. … Texas still has the best home record in the AL at 40-24. … In the fifth before his home run, Hamilton also had a highlight defensive play. Hamilton made a sliding catch on the gravel in foul territory down the left-field line on Reddick’s foul pop. … Also in the fifth, Ellsbury reached with full extension on a sprint to catch Kinsler’s fly in the left-center gap. … Matt Harrison pitches for Texas and Josh Beckett starts for Boston in a matchup of 10-game winners Wednesday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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