By HOWARD ULMAN
AP Sports Writer
BOSTON (AP) _ John Lackey pitched seven strong innings, Jackie Bradley Jr. singled in two runs and the Boston Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.
The Red Sox never lost more than three straight last year when they won the World Series. They avoided dropping their first four home games for the first time since 1984.
Lackey (2-0) allowed an unearned run and five hits in seven innings five days after giving up two runs over six innings in a 6-2 win at Baltimore. Chris Capuano pitched the eighth and Koji Uehara escaped a second-and-third jam in the ninth in a non-save situation.
Tanner Scheppers (0-1) allowed Bradley’s run-scoring hits in the second and fourth, and Boston added three runs in the eighth.
Bradley, Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski each had three singles for the Red Sox.
Boston took a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI single by Bradley after singles by Xander Bogaerts and Pierzynski.
Texas tied it in the fourth on singles by Adrian Beltre and Alex Rios, a passed ball and a sacrifice fly by Mitch Moreland.
Bradley came through again in the fourth with another run-scoring single after Pierzynski singled and went to third on a single by Jonathan Herrera.
The Red Sox stranded runners at second and third in the fifth after Napoli and Grady Sizemore singled and both advanced on a passed ball. Pierzynski ended the inning by striking out.
Then the Rangers left runners at second and third with a chance to tie the game in the seventh. The threat ended when J.P. Arencibia grounded out to second as Lackey pounded his glove while walking off the mound after facing his final batter.
But the Red Sox wasted a chance to extend their lead in the seventh when Bogaerts struck out with runners at second and third and two outs against Seth Rosin.
Boston reached Rosin for three runs in the eighth when Pierzynski singled, went to second on a walk to Herrera and scored when Bradley bunted for a single and first baseman Prince Fielder threw wildly for an error. The other runs scored on a single by Daniel Nava and a fielder’s choice groundout by Dustin Pedroia.
NOTES: Elvis Andrus and Rios have hits in each of Texas’ seven games. … Martin Perez (0-0) pitches for Texas against Felix Doubront (1-0) in the second game of the three-game series Tuesday. … Rangers manager Ron Washington said Yu Darvish, whose first start was delayed until last Sunday by back stiffness, will have his usual four days off before pitching Friday even though Texas has an off day Thursday. Scheppers’ next start will be pushed back to the weekend. … The Red Sox signed free-agent infielder Ryan Roberts and sent infielder Brock Holt to Triple-A Pawtucket. … The Rangers placed LHP Joe Saunders on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised left ankle.
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