ARLINGTON, Texas – Craig Gentry had an infield hit that produced two runs and later hit a two-run homer as the Texas Rangers beat the Boston Red Sox 5-1 on Saturday night.
The Rangers broke a 1-1 tie and went ahead to stay on the speedy Gentry’s infield hit in the fourth. He added his first homer in the eighth.
Alexi Ogando (3-2) pitched into the seventh inning for his first victory in five starts and the AL West-leading Rangers (19-11) clinched the series against the Red Sox (20-10), who still have the best record in the majors even after losing the first two games.
Ian Kinsler hit the first pitch thrown by John Lackey (1-2) into the left-field seats for his sixth homer this season, and 28th career leadoff shot.
The Rangers had the bases loaded with two outs in the fourth when center fielder Gentry hit a hard chopper. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks fielded the ball cleanly and made a strong throw that was a bit wide of first base, though Gentry clearly beat it. A second run scored on the throwing error when the ball got away from first baseman Mike Napoli.
Ogando struck out four and allowed one run in six-plus innings. Ogando, who won his first two starts of the season before going 0-2 the last four, was gone after allowing a leadoff single to Middlebrooks in the seventh.
Rangers closer Joe Nathan, the third Texas reliever, worked a perfect ninth for his first appearance in eight days.
Lackey made his second start since coming off the disabled list because of a right biceps strain and winning in his return last Sunday. He hasn’t won consecutive starts since 2011, and has had plenty of struggles against Texas — he has a 6.01 ERA in his 37 career starts against Texas, the most by an active pitcher.
Lackey allowed three runs and six hits over five innings.
On Kinsler’s leadoff homer, left fielder Daniel Nava was a long way in front of the 14-foot wall when he stopped, held his hands out and seemed onfused while looking up for the ball. It landed several rows deep in the stands, an estimated 402-foot shot.
David Ortiz had a leadoff double in the second for the Red Sox, extending his majors-best hitting streak to 24 games.