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Sox Shutout by Rangers

RedSoxLogoARLINGTON, Texas — Adrian Beltre had a three-run double among his four hits, Derek Holland pitched eight scoreless innings for his fifth consecutive victory over Boston and the Texas Rangers beat the Red Sox 7-0 Friday night.

While Holland (2-2) had a season-high nine strikeouts and stymied the Boston bats (six singles), the Rangers had a season-high 18 hits. Red Sox starter Felix Doubront (3-1) allowed a career-worst 12 hits in only 3 2/3 innings.

Nine of Texas’ hits off Doubront came with two outs, including Beltre’s bases-clearing double to left-center in the fourth that made it 5-0 and chased the left-hander.

Beltre broke out of an extended slump, hitting only .129 (4 for 31) in his previous eight games and 2 for 20 the last five. While his home run the previous night produced the only run in the Rangers’ 3-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox, Beltre grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the sixth, and struck out with two runners on two innings later.

Ian Kinsler and Mitch Moreland both had three hits for the AL West-leading Rangers, who were coming off their first series loss of the season and had lost four of their past five games. The entire team had only three hits against the White Sox on Thursday.

Holland is 5-1 with a 2.41 ERA in his six career starts against the Red Sox. The lone loss came as a rookie at Fenway Park in June 2009, his third career start.

After Holland threw 112 pitches, Derek Lowe worked a perfect ninth to wrap up the Rangers’ fifth shutout this season.

Boston (20-9) still has the best record in the majors, but was shut out for the third time this season.

Mike Napoli, with a majors-best 22 extra-base hits and 31 RBIs in his first month with the Red Sox, was 0 for 4 in his first game back at Rangers Ballpark.

Napoli, who hit 54 home runs the last two seasons for the Rangers and made his only World Series appearance with them two years ago, was greeted with the old chants of “Nap-o-li!, Nap-oli!” when he batted for the first time. But the fans were cheering when the Red Sox first baseman then struck out.

That was a much different reaction than five-time All-Star slugger Josh Hamilton got in his return with the Los Angeles Angels last month, when the 2010 AL MVP was booed throughout that weekend series.

Texas went ahead to stay when Jeff Baker had a two-out double in the second and scored on Craig Gentry’s infield single. The Rangers had three singles in the third without scoring before their five-run outburst in the fourth.

Moreland had a one-out single in the fourth before Gentry struck out. Then Kinsler and Elvis Andrus had consecutive singles, the second pushing home a run to make it 2-0. Lance Berkman walked to load the bases, and everybody was running on a full-count pitch when Beltre doubled to left-center. Nelson Cruz then had an RBI single.

An inning later, Moreland had another one-out single and scored on Kinsler’s seventh double in his nine-game hitting streak.

David Ortiz beat out an infield single leading off the second, extending his season-opening hitting streak to 11 games since coming off the disabled list. Ortiz has an overall hitting streak of 23 games dating to last season, the longest active streak in the majors.

Game notes

Doubront has a career ERA of 12.60 in his four career appearances at Rangers Ballpark. … After Beltre’s single to right in the first, Andrus was tagged out when he went too wide around second base and couldn’t get back in time, ending the inning. … Boston is 8-2 in series openers this season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


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