Tuesday, December 10, 2013
From news service reports
ARLINGTON, Texas — Mike Aviles blooped a tie-breaking single in the ninth inning and the Boston Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 2-1 Tuesday night, ending a four-game losing streak.
Adrian Beltre of Texas escapes the tag at second by Will Middlebrooks in the fourth inning Tuesday night. Beltre had a double on the play.
The Associated Press
WHO: Red Sox (Beckett 5-8) vs. Texas Rangers (Holland 6-5)
WHEN: 8:05 p.m.
Red Sox reliever Vicente Padilla (4-0) escaped a first-and-third jam in the eighth. He hit Adrian Beltre in the helmet with a pitch, leaving Beltre with a bruise on his head.
Rangers closer Joe Nathan issued a pair of two-out walks in the ninth and Aviles singled just beyond the reach of shortstop Elvis Andrus.
The Rangers had a prime scoring opportunity in the eighth inning. Andrus beat out a single and made it to third on an unusual two-base throwing error by Padilla.
Padilla threw to first in an attempt to pick off Andrus, got the return throw from first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, then almost immediately threw back to Gonzalez, who wasn't expecting it and the ball rolled to the wall.
With two outs, Padilla hit Beltre, knocking his helmet off and sending him to the ground. After Beltre left the game, Michael Young grounded out to end the inning.
Alfredo Aceves notched his 21st save of the season. Nathan (1-3) took the loss.
Cody Ross scored for Boston in the fourth when he walked and Kelly Shoppach doubled on a drive that right fielder David Murphy misplayed at the warning track.
The Rangers had a player hit a double for the third consecutive inning in the sixth when Andrus doubled with one out. Andrus went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a slow groundout by Josh Hamilton.
Boston starter Clay Buchholz gave up only four hits in seven innings.
Martin Perez, called up from Triple-A Round Rock on Monday after starter Colby Lewis was put on the disabled list for season-ending surgery, pitched six innings, giving up five hits.
THE CLEVELAND Indians acquired veteran Brent Lillibridge from the Red Sox, adding some backup versatility as they seek to stay in the AL Central race.
Minor-league right-hander Jose De La Torre was sent to Boston, which had acquired Lillibridge on June 24 as part of the trade that sent Kevin Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox.
FOR NOW, at least, the Red Sox decided to allow Jon Lester to make his start Saturday in New York.
And one American League scout believes the struggling ace is hardly a lost cause.
"He's not far from being very good," said the scout, who watched Lester implode Sunday at Fenway Park against the Blue Jays.
"He's lost feel for his change-up, and he's tentative with his fastball. He's nibbling some. But his stuff is good, his delivery is good. He looked healthy."
Nevertheless, after being tagged for 11 runs in four innings in one of the most dismal starts in Sox history, Lester is 5-8 with a 5.46 ERA, the fourth-worst mark among AL pitchers who qualify for the ERA title.
In his last three starts, Lester allowed 21 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings.
His ERA in 12 starts at Fenway is 7.39. And Lester's next start will be against the homer-happy Yankees.
"He's going to start Saturday," Sox Manager Bobby Valentine said .
The Sox have maneuverability with their rotation because of an off day Thursday, but evidently they concluded Lester wouldn't benefit from additional time to correct his problems.
The scout speculated Lester's issues stem from a crisis of confidence, noting that the left-hander didn't seem to be pitching inside as often as usual. Instead, he left too many pitches over the plate, the biggest reason he gave up four homers to Toronto.
"I believe in him," Valentine said. "I know nobody else in this (office) does, but I do. That's a good start. Maybe if he's sitting in here, it'll be two of us by the time he leaves."