By John Henry, The Sports Xchange
ARLINGTON, Texas — In his previous start, Texas right-hander Andrew Cashner was forced to leave the game early after taking a piece of a broken bat off his forearm.
On Wednesday, he and the Rangers gave the Boston Red Sox a good whack.
Cashner pitched seven strong innings, and Rougned Odor, Jurickson Profar and Carlos Gomez each had two RBIs as the Rangers earned a much-needed 8-2 victory over Boston.
The Red Sox had their six-game winning streak snapped.
Cashner (4-7) picked up his first victory in more than a month for Texas, which had lost three straight and six of its previous seven games. He gave up two runs (both unearned), three hits and three walks while striking out four.
“Big-time performance by Cash,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “He went out there and put a foot down. We know this is a dynamic pitcher with dynamic stuff. He proved that tonight.”
The Rangers’ offensive attack was led by Odor, Profar and Gomez.
Odor was 1-for-1 with a two-run homer, his 16th home run of the season, a walk and a hit by pitch. He also scored three runs. Profar, called up from the minors earlier in the day, was 2-for-3 with two doubles, one of them driving in two runs in the fifth off Boston starter Doug Fister (0-2).
Gomez, who has hits in six consecutive games, had a solo home run and a run-scoring single as Texas played the last of a stretch of 20 consecutive games without a day off.
Adrian Beltre went 1-for-4 with a double, the 601st of his career, tying him with Barry Bonds for 16th all-time.
Cashner had a no-hitter for 5 2/3 innings and appeared to be headed to the seventh inning with it intact before first baseman Pete Kozma — a replacement for Joey Gallo, who left the game in the fifth with soreness in his left hamstring — dropped a throw from shortstop Jurickson Profar on a routine grounder.
Xander Bogaerts, the next batter, belted a two-run homer.
“These guys are too good to think about a no-hitter,” Cashner said. “My job is to think about one pitch at a time. Keep executing. If you don’t execute … think about the next pitch.”
Having lost the first two games against Boston in this series, the Wednesday victory, Cashner said, “was huge” going into an off day and a big series with the division rival Los Angeles Angels beginning on Friday at Globe Life Park.
Aside from the Bogaerts homer, Boston’s only other hits were singles from Mitch Moreland, the hitter after Bogaerts in the sixth, and Jackie Bradley Jr. in the seventh.
“We hit some balls hard, we hit some balls right at people,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “But make no mistake, Cashner threw one of the better games he’s thrown this year. We ran into a pitcher that threw the ball well tonight.”
Boston pitchers entered the game with an American League-low 2.87 ERA in their previous 14 games. However, Fister lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up six runs (four earned) and five hits, including two home runs, three walks and a hit by pitch. The two unearned runs were the result of his error in Texas’ three-run fourth.
Red Sox left-handed reliever Robby Scott also hit two batters — Beltre and Odor on consecutive at-bats — in the fifth inning. Odor slammed his bat to the ground but walked to first base without incident. He left the game an inning later. X-rays on his left wrist were negative.
Odor’s two-run homer in the second was followed by Gomez’s solo shot to left in the next inning that made it 3-0.
Texas sent eight men to the plate and scored three more times in the fourth.
“It’s a real tough pill to swallow tonight,” Fister said, “at the cost of a team loss, especially the guys in the bullpen. They’re taxed, and I’m adding to that. That’s a frustrating thing for me, and I’m not getting my job done.”