ARLINGTON, Texas — On Friday night, Texas ace Yu Darvish threw 126 pitches before the Boston Red Sox broke up his no-hit bid. On Saturday evening, it took only five pitches before the Red Sox had a hit.
Rangers left-hander Martin Perez struggled early and Boston starter Jon Lester was serviceable in an 8-3 Red Sox win.
The Red Sox built a 2-0 lead in the first three innings and bolstered it with four runs in the fourth and two in the eighth to coast to a victory.
Perez, the Rangers’ leader in starts with eight, lost his third consecutive outing. He made it only 3 2/3 innings, giving up nine hits and six earned runs.
Boston is now 9-4 against left-handed starters, much better than the Red Sox’s 9-14 record against right-handers.
Lester picked up his fourth win of the season and his second in a row. He pitched seven innings, giving up four hits and three earned runs with eight strikeouts.
Texas pitching coach Mike Maddux was ejected in the eighth inning.
Boston improved its record to 18-18 and the Rangers dropped to 19-18. The Rangers
were a season-high six games above .500 at 15-9 on April 26 but have gone 4-9 in the past two weeks. The Red Sox were 6-5 during that same span.
Sunday’s game will be the last in the season series between the clubs. Boston has won three of five games.
In the second inning, Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks, center fielder Jackie Bradley and second baseman Dustin Pedroia all got on base. Right fielder Shane Victorino drove home Middlebrooks with a single.
Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz smacked a solo homer in the third, the 438th home run of his career. The blast moved Ortiz into a tie with Jason Giambi and Andre Dawson for 40th in Major League Baseball history.
Bradley and Pedroia scored in the fifth on a base hit from Victorino. An Ortiz double moved Victorino to third and a hit by left fielder Jonny Gomes scored both, moving the score to 6-0.
Texas scored in the bottom of the fourth when left fielder Shin Soo-Choo crossed the plate on a Prince Fielder sacrifice fly. Designated hitter Alex Rios tripled for another Rangers run.
A double from shortstop Elvis Andrus scored second baseman Luis Sardinas in the fifth.