9th Inning Magic
BOSTON (AP) _ David Ortiz hit a game-ending three-run homer, lifting the Boston Red Sox to a 6-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night after trailing by three runs.
Jacoby Ellsbury scored the tying run on a fielder’s choice in the seventh inning of his first game after sitting out five straight because of a groin injury.
Jonny Gomes led off the ninth with a double to center off Michael Kirkman (0-2) and Dustin Pedroia was walked intentionally to set up a potential double play with Ortiz coming to the plate. Ortiz then drove the first pitch he saw from Kirkman for hit his 11th career walkoff homer into an empty Texas bullpen.
Ortiz watched his homer for a few moments before trotting his way toward home where he was met by a swarm of celebrating teammates.
Andrew Bailey (2-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for Boston, which took two of three from Texas.
Ellsbury had a pair of doubles and two singles. Gomes also had four hits and Pedroia hit a two-run double in the third.
Jeff Baker and Adrian Beltre drove in all of Texas’ runs on early homers off of Jon Lester.
Texas led 3-2 until Ellsbury scored in the seventh when Mike Napoli beat out the throw on a grounder that would have ended the inning after Boston loaded the bases with one out. Napoli hit a sharp grounder to first baseman Lance Berkman, who bounced his throw to Elvis Andrus covering second.
Jon Lester survived a rocky first few innings and pitched through the sixth for Boston, leaving with the Red Sox trailing 3-2 on Baker’s two-run homer in the second and a solo shot by Beltre in the third. Lester also had to get himself out of trouble in the first by striking out Nelson Cruz after a two-out walk to Berkman and a single by Beltre.
Boston got two back with two outs in the third when Pedroia doubled off the center field wall after Jose Iglesias reached on a walk and Ellsbury singled.
Lester allowed three runs on seven hits, walked three and struck out four.
Texas starter Derek Holland’s line was nearly identical. He allowed two runs on nine hits, also walking three and striking out four. Holland was 5-0 against Boston entering the game.
NOTES: The Rangers placed 1B Mitch Moreland on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a strained right hamstring and called up 1B Chris McGuinness from Triple-A Round Rock. … Lester was making his 200th career start, the third LHP in Red Sox history to reach the mark. … The Rangers had already clinched the season series against Boston for the fifth straight year with a 3-2 win Wednesday. … Baker’s homer in the second was his fourth in the last nine games. … Iglesias’ single in the sixth increased his hitting streak to 10 straight games. … Ellsbury had been out since setting a club record with five stolen bases last week in a victory over Philadelphia.
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