ARLINGTON -- The Red Sox stunned the Rangers with four runs in the ninth inning and rallied for an 8-7 victory at Globe Life Park. The comeback came against relievers Jake Diekman and Matt Bush as the Rangers were trying to stay away from using closer Sam Dyson.• Vote for Betts,
ARLINGTON -- The Red Sox stunned the Rangers with four runs in the ninth inning and rallied for an 8-7 victory at Globe Life Park. The comeback came against relievers Jake Diekman and Matt Bush as the Rangers were trying to stay away from using closer Sam Dyson.
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The Rangers led, 7-4, going into the ninth, but Diekman walked Jackie Bradley Jr. to leadoff the inning and then gave up a two-out run-scoring double to pinch-hitter Sandy Leon. Rangers manager Jeff Banister then brought in Bush, who had a chance for his first Major League save. But Mookie Betts turned on a 97-mph fastball and launched it over the left-center wall for a game-tying two-run home run.
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"Just a tremendous character win tonight by our guys," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "It took a lot of contributions from a number of guys up and down this roster. This is a huge boost when you consider the confidence you can generate and gain from a game like this. It was an exciting clubhouse afterwards."
Dustin Pedroia kept the inning alive with a walk and Xander Bogaerts lined a single to right, putting runners at the corners for David Ortiz. With the count 1-and-2, Bush unleashed a 98-mph fastball that sailed to the backstop and allowed Pedroia to score the go-ahead run.
Koji Uehara, who has struggled of late, came on in the ninth and fanned the side on 14 pitches.
"He was crisp," said Farrell. "He was downhill with a couple more fastballs, and certainly the split had the typical finish that we've seen from him. There was a little bit of an adjustment with the mechanics, particularly his lower half, staying a little bit taller to get downhill a little bit better, and the finish to the split was outstanding."
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For the Red Sox, the dramatic win occurred despite ace David Price turning in one of the toughest starts of his career. The lefty was shelled for 12 hits and six runs over 2 1/3 innings.
"We've got to move on," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Tough loss … especially jumping out to a six-run lead early."
• Penned in: Diekman, Bush struggle
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Leon sets up Mookie: Leon was the catalyst in the dramatic rally. The backup catcher, who has been red-hot since being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on June 5, capped his 11-pitch at-bat with an RBI double to keep the game alive. With the hit, Leon raised his average to .545 (12-for-22).
"I feel like that at-bat is how you describe the Red Sox," said Betts. "We just grind through at-bats, never give up and it just showed that grinding pays off. That's how you play the game."
Choo, Andrus get Rangers started:Shin-Soo Choo led off the first with a home run on the third pitch from David Price. The Rangers then loaded the bases on three straight singles by Ian Desmond, Adrian Beltre and Ryan Rua, but Prince Fielder hit a grounder at first baseman Hanley Ramirez to start a home-to-first double play. That gave Price a chance to escape the first having allowed just one run, but Elvis Andrus smacked a two-run single through the left side to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead.
Barnes, Layne keep Sox in it: If not for the stellar relief of Matt Barnes and Tommy Layne, the Red Sox wouldn't have been able to pull of such a stirring comeback following Price's disappointing 2 1/3-innings outing. Barnes recorded eight outs -- one more than Price -- while striking out four and allowing one run. Layne went two hitless innings, walking one and striking out two. Uehara capped it with his second save on a night closer Craig Kimbrel was unavailable.
"Phenomenal," said Price. "After the last couple games against the White Sox, they threw a lot of innings for us. A lot of guys went multiple innings. I'm sure a lot of them thought they were down today. That wasn't the case because I only got I think seven outs, and you know [Barnes] coming in and throwing the ball the way he did, and then Tommy Layne and then Koji. That was huge."
Rangers bats run hot and cold: The Rangers had 16 hits, including 12 against Price. That allowed them to take a 6-0 lead, but they did not get a hit in the final four innings.
"They have good hitters, man. It's nothing new. You can see the way they've been playing all year. A tough one to swallow, but we trust that everyone in here will come back strong tomorrow." -- Andrus, on the Red Sox's offense
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This was the first time the Red Sox have come back from three runs down with two outs in the ninth since Sept. 23, 2003, when Todd Walker tied it in the ninth and Ortiz won it with a walkoff in the 10th.
Boston's Bryce Brentz hit a grounder to third in the second, and first baseman Jurickson Profar looked like he might have been pulled off the bag when he took the throw from third baseman Beltre. Farrell called for a challenge, but the call of out was confirmed.
Red Sox: Knuckleballer Steven Wright takes his American League-leading 2.01 ERA to the mound for Saturday's 9:20 p.m. ET game against the Rangers. The righty has been unscored on in three of his last four starts.
Rangers: Right-hander A.J. Griffin comes off the disabled list and pitches against the Red Sox at 8:20 p.m. CT on Saturday. Griffin has been sidelined with shoulder inflammation and is making his first start since May 7.
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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.