ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Alex Cora has never hesitated in knowing that the Boston Red Sox are a good team despite their early struggles and bottom of the AL East rankings.
“Nothing has changed,” Cora said. “We just had a bad start and know where we stand.”
The Red Sox now appear to be taking a step in the right direction. They have their first consecutive win in a month.
JD Martinez extended his on-base streak to 31 games with a first-inning homer, 42-year-old Rich Hill landed seventh on his return from the COVID-19 list and the Red Sox won 11-3 against the Texas Rangers on Saturday night. Rafael Devers also scored for Boston, which posted a season-high for runs and won the first two in the three-game weekend series.
His name is Rafael Devers. pic.twitter.com/ZrcAreZDHH
— Red Sox (@RedSox) May 14, 2022
“We’re getting there,” said Cora. “Good on bats. The bottom of the table did a great job. …kept the line moving. It was another good one on offense.”
Kiké Hernández drove in three runs — with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, a fielder’s choice grounder in the fourth, and a double in the fifth.
The Red Sox (13-20) had won just one of their first 10 series, winning two of three in the first week of the season April 11-13 in Detroit. Since then, they had gone 0-6-2 in their series, including splitting two games at world series champions Atlanta earlier this week.
Hill (1-1) threw 64 of his 94 shots for strikes in his first start since May 5. The left-hander, who pitched alone in a few otherwise empty fields near his home during his quarantine, hit four without a walk. He allowed three runs and seven hits, Kole Calhoun’s last two-run double after Texas opened the seventh with consecutive singles.
“I’ve been pretty busy with the business,” said Hill, who also pitched at home. “I went out by myself looking kind of crazy, but I was ready.”
Martinez went deep on a full count pitch with two outs against first rookie Glenn Otto (1-1). It was his fourth homer of the season and extended his best-hitting streak in the majors to 15 games. Martinez was also single and walked twice while adding the longest streak of his career on base, including all 26 games he has played this season.
JD starts the night off with a BANG! pic.twitter.com/fmUcty7xvB
— Red Sox (@RedSox) May 14, 2022
Otto had four strikeouts and four walks while hitting the fifth. He gave up eight runs and eight hits.
Texas even landed on the bottom of first when leadoff hitter Eli White caught second baseman Trevor Story’s error, then stole second and third bases before going home with Corey Seager’s single. Seager had been 3 for 28, all those hits solo homers, his last eight games. But Rangers were 9-1 down before getting another run from Hill.
“You let him get comfortable and he starts spinning baseball the way he does, he’s tough,” said Texas manager Chris Woodward.
The Red Sox took control with a four-run second inning topped by Devers’ two-run homer, a liner from opposite field that bounced off the left field rod for a 5-1 lead.
“I know they struggled to get into the win-loss column,” Woodward said. “This team has been together for a while and they have some really good racquets over there. They just kicked us in the butt. That is the bottom line.”
Boston has 30 runs in their last four games, down from 23 runs in the previous 10 games. … The most runs Rangers had allowed was a 10-8 loss in Toronto as they gambled away an early 7-0 lead in the season opener. … Marcus Semien is hitting .156 in his freshman season with Texas and is 0 for 25 in his last six-plus games. … Public address announcer Chuck Morgan has had his 3,100 since 1983. Completed consecutive games in the regular season. All but 81 of those games have been played with Texas playing at its third stadium in that span. Morgan spent the 2002 season with the Kansas City Royals.
Red Sox: LF Alex Verdugo was out of the lineup with a bruised right foot. He was knocked out in the seventh inning of Friday’s game after fouling a pitch off his foot. Cora said Verdugo was still in pain but the X-rays came back negative.
Ranger: RHP Jon Gray will wear a left knee brace when he faces the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, exactly a week after leaving his last start with a knee strain. Gray weathered a bullpen session on Saturday with no problems.
Rangers left-hander Martin Perez (1-2, 2.10 ERA), who has allowed just two earned runs over 26 1/3 innings (0.68 ERA) in his last four starts after losing his first two, goes against Boston in the season finale. He played for the Red Sox for the last two seasons before returning to his original MLB team this spring.
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https://www.boston.com/sports/boston-red-sox/2022/05/15/red-sox-rangers-game-two-score-highlighs-recap-rich-hill/ Red Sox take 1st straight win of the month, win 11-3 in Texas