By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Derek Holland struck out seven and pitched into the eighth inning and the Texas Rangers took advantage of a couple of wild throws by Josh Beckett to score the go-ahead run in a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.
Elvis Andrus was hit on the left forearm by a pitch to reach with one out in the seventh. He got to third on a single by Adrian Beltre and scored to break a 3-all tie when Beckett (5-9) threw a wild pitch that bounced several feet wide of the plate.
Holland (7-5) allowed three runs and five hits in 7 2-3 innings, and came out of the game soon after a stretch when he retired 20 of 22 batters.
Nelson Cruz led off the eighth with his 13th homer, to greet Red Sox reliever Matt Albers.
Beltre was back in the lineup a day after being hit by a pitch thrown by Vicente Padilla that knocked off his helmet and sent him to the ground. Beltre, who insisted again before Wednesday’s game that he didn’t think that 0-2 pitch was purposely thrown at him, had a bruise but no concussion.
In what may have been a bit of retaliation with two outs in the first, Red Sox cleanup hitter Adrian Gonzalez was hit in the buttocks by a pitch. Home plate umpire Tim Tschida, the crew chief,
pointed Gonzalez to first base and didn’t issue any warnings.
There were no further issues, and it was clear by Beckett’s reaction when he hit Andrus in the seventh that it was just a pitch that got away.
While retiring 20 of 22 batters, Holland gave up solo homers to Will Middlebrooks and Dustin Pedroia. He struck out the side in the seventh. The impressive stretch ended when Pedro Giriaco had a two-out single in the eighth with Pedroia on deck.
Mike Adams retired Pedroia on a running catch by left fielder David Murphy. Joe Nathan worked a perfect ninth for his 20th save in 21 chances a day after allowing consecutive two-out walks and
then giving up a run in a 2-1 loss to the Red Sox.
Beckett allowed nine hits and walked two in his seven innings.
Jacoby Ellsbury drew a walk to start the game and eventually scored when Pedroia grounded into a double play. Gonzalez was then plunked before Cody Ross’ inning-ending strikeout.
Holland began his impressive streak after Middlebrooks led off the second with a single. Middlebrooks hit his 12th homer in the fourth, and Pedroia went deep in the sixth.
The Rangers scored three times in the fourth, when they got started with doubles by Michael Young and Murphy. It was Young’s first extra-base hit in 11 games since the All-Star break, and
Murphy’s first RBI since June 28.
Murphy scored on Craig Gentry’s perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt to tie the game at 2. Ian Kinsler followed with an RBI bloop single that dropped after glancing off the heel of sliding
right fielder Cody Ross’ glove.
Notes: Cruz was mired in a 5-for-33 slump with 11 strikeouts over 10 games before his homer. … Cruz also had an impressive defensive play in the fourth when he reached back while sliding to
catch Ross’ flyball near the right-field line. …Holland has allowed 16 homers this season. … Both teams are off Thursday. The Red Sox then open a weekend series at the New York Yankees. The
Rangers, who have won seven consecutive home series, stay home for a three-game set vs. the Chicago White Sox. … Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland, who is on the disabled list, became a father Wednesday. His wife gave birth to their first child, a son.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)