via Texas Rangers
ARLINGTON — The Rangers have had trouble with left-handed starters this season, but they have also been known to treat Red Sox pitcher David Price harshly in their own ballpark.
The Rangers did that on Thursday night, getting to Price for nine runs (seven earned) in 3 2/3 innings on their way to an 11-5 victory over the Red Sox at Globe Life Park. The Red Sox have now lost seven of 12 after their 17-2 start to the season.
The Rangers were 2-6 against left-handed starters this season before getting through against Price. Nomar Mazara had the big blast of the night, breaking the game open with a three-run home run off right-handed reliever Hector Velazquez to finish off a six-run fourth.
“It’s good to play against a team like that and it’s fun to go out and beat them,” said Mazara, who had a season-high five RBIs. “We have to win ballgames. Were starting to play much better, the lineup in general. We know we have to step it up and try to win games.”
Mazara has now hit a home run in three straight games, but the pivotal hits came against Price by some guys who have had trouble against lefties in the past and are now starting to figure them out. Or need to figure them out.
Jurickson Profar had an RBI triple in the second and scored on a sacrifice fly by Renato Nunez. Mazara had an RBI double in the third and Ryan Rua had a run-scoring single in the fourth.
For Profar and Mazara, the hits were further evidence of how much they have improved against left-handed pitching. Profar hit .197 off left-handers the past two seasons but is now 8-for-18 off them so far this year. Mazara is hitting .324 (12-for-37) off left-handers this season, a big improvement over his .228 average vs. southpaws in 2017.
For Rua and Nunez, they need to show they can be a threat against left-handed pitching. If so, there is an opportunity for playing time in a right-handed platoon with Ronald Guzman.
“Very important for them, very important for us moving forward,” manager Jeff Banister said. “We talk about Mazara and how he has logged in at-bats against left-handers. He’s a quality hitter and quality hitters learn and get better. That’s what he has done. With Profar, the consistent playing time has allowed him to exhale and relax and put together some quality at-bats.”
The 11 runs marked the first time the Rangers have scored 10-plus runs in a game this season. They did so 19 times last season. The Rangers still have work to do to get their offense going, but they have won five of their last eight while hitting .267 with a .493 slugging percentage, 14 home runs and 47 runs scored.
“The lineup is starting to get consistent on a daily basis,” outfielder Delino DeShields said. “Guys are getting comfortable, we just need to keep doing what we’re doing. Even the game [on Wednesday], that got out of hand, even though there wasn’t much of a chance to come back, we were still trying to put runs on the board. Guys are stepping up. It’s fun to be in this lineup.”
Price has four wins in nine career starts at Globe Life Park — including one last year when he pitched six scoreless innings — but he has allowed at least five runs in the other five starts. That leaves him with a career 7.42 ERA in Arlington over his career in the regular season. That’s the sixth-highest ERA here by a pitcher with at least nine starts.
Rangers starter Mike Minor fought through six innings to get the win, allowing three runs on seven hits and four walks. Mookie Betts hit his 12th home run off Minor, but the Red Sox were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position off him. Minor is now 3-1 with a 4.36 ERA after six starts and has held opponents to a .179 batting average with runners in scoring position.