BOSTON – It was a night of rarities for the Rangers: C.J. Wilson got a win, Darren Oliver earned the save, and Texas won for the first time in a week.

“It’s nice to smile,” Rangers Manager Ron Washington said after Wilson pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning to beat the Boston Red Sox 3-0 on Thursday night. “We’ve been on the verge of getting a win. Now the monkey’s off our back, and we can just play.”

Wilson (1-1) earned his first career win as a starter and Oliver got his first save in 498 appearances since 1994. But the Rangers, who had lost six straight, were happy to win in any fashion and happier still to get it against Clay Buchholz, who struck out a career-high 10 and matched shutout innings with Wilson through six.

Nelson Cruz had two hits and stole two bases — the Rangers’ 13th and 14th in as many tries in the series — and David Murphy also had two hits as Texas scored three times on three hits and two Boston errors in the seventh to avoid a three-game sweep.

Boston put two on with two outs in the bottom half of the seventh to end Wilson’s night. But reliever Darren O’Day got recent call-up Darnell McDonald, who homered in each of the first two games of the series, on a grounder to third to end the inning.

With closer Neftali Feliz unavailable a day after pitching two innings, Oliver got five outs for his third career save.

Buchholz (1-2) allowed six hits and a walk in 62/3 innings.

Wilson had been 0-6 with an 8.31 ERA as a starter. He went 0-5 in 2005 and then went four years without making a start before pitching seven shutout innings in a no-decision in his first appearance this season. After a bout of food poisoning, he gave up three earned runs to the New York Yankees in a 5-1 loss last Friday.

The former closer had allowed just two hits through six innings, but the Rangers had just three against Buchholz before Josh Hamilton led off the seventh with a double and scored on Cruz’s single up the middle. Cruz stole second and scored on Murphy’s double into the left center-field gap to make it 2-0.

Buchholz got Chris Davis to ground out to first and struck out Taylor Teagarden. The right-hander could have gotten out of the inning on Andres Blanco’s drag bunt up the first-base line, but Buchholz made a wild throw to first to allow Blanco to get to second, then right fielder J.D. Drew made a bad throw to allow Blanco to take third.

“No one here is real happy with the way we are playing right now,” Boston’s Mike Lowell said. “But I don’t think we were down in the dumps.”


NOTES: Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has hairline fractures in four ribs, and it’s uncertain when he’ll be able to return.

Ellsbury has been out since April 11, when he collided with third baseman Adrian Beltre in Kansas City. Boston’s leadoff hitter would have been eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday.

Dr. Thomas Gill told reporters that Ellsbury’s return will depend on how he feels.

“We keep people out of competition until there is no tenderness, (they) don’t have problems breathing and there is no stress,” Gill said.


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