Red Sox burst out for 6 in the 7th, beat the AL West-leading Rangers 10-6
Kiké Hernández blooped a bases-loaded, broken-bat single in the seventh to turn a one-run deficit into a one-run lead, and the Red Sox weren't done yet.
Boston sent 12 batters to the plate and scored six times against four Texas relievers in the seventh inning Thursday night to pull away and beat the AL West-leading Rangers 10-6.
“Every pitcher here believes in the lineup that we have,” said Red Sox reliever Josh Winckowski (3-1), who came on in the seventh with runners on second and third and nobody out and pitched out of it. “If we keep it close, stuff like tonight is going to happen.”
No. 9 hitter Connor Wong had three hits as Boston won for the fifth time in six games.
Boston led 1-0 and 3-1 before Texas scored two in the fourth and two more in the fifth to take a 5-3 lead. The Red Sox got one back in the sixth, when they chased former Boston pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, and then broke the game open in the seventh.
“It started with my hit, and we got some big hits behind me,” said Hernández, who sat out the previous three games while mired in a slump that dropped his batting average to .225. “That’s what we’ve got to do to beat good teams. Not just take the lead, but keep adding on and keep taking advantage of their mistakes.”
Red Sox manager praised Hernández not just for his go-ahead single but for drawing a walk in his first at-bat and for starting the game-ending double play. Hernández had also struggled on defense, committing five errors in the first eight games of the season before he was moved to center field for a while.
“You know, he works hard in his craft. He worked hard on his craft in the offseason and it hasn’t paid off yet,” Cora said. “It’s good to have him contribute. I know for him it’s important because he cares about this organization, he cares about the team and he doesn’t want to struggle.”
Corey Seager had three hits for the second straight night, including a solo homer in the ninth that made it 10-6. Adolis Garcia walked before Chris Martin came in and threw one pitch to end it, getting Josh Jung on a double play.
The Rangers were up 5-4 with one out in the bottom of the seventh when Rafael Devers walked and Adam Duvall doubled him to third. Triston Casas walked to load the bases and, after Grant Anderson replaced Josh Sborz (4-4), Hernández lofted one to left, scoring two.
Christian Arroyo and Wong followed with RBI singles. John King got one out and then gave up a run-scoring single to Justin Turner and back-to-back infield singles to Masataka Yoshida and Devers. Jose Leclerc came in and struck out Duvall to end the inning.
The Red Sox had seven hits — six singles and a double — and two walks in the inning. Two of the base hits were high choppers that didn't leave the infield. They also took advantage of a throwing error by left fielder Robbie Grossman.
Sborz was charged with three runs on three hits and two walks while getting just two outs.
Eovaldi made his first appearance at Fenway Park since leaving Boston after 4 1/2 seasons in which he helped the Red Sox win a World Series.
Eovaldi was greeted with a video tribute during Tuesday's series opener. He stepped out of the dugout and tipped his hat to the crowd that remembers him for his six innings of relief in Boston's 18-inning loss to the Dodgers in Game 3 of the 2018 Series.
On Thursday night, the 33-year-old right-hander allowed four runs on five hits and four walks, striking out three in 5 1/3 innings. He left with a runner on second and one out; Brock Burke relieved him and gave up a single to Rob Refsnyder to make it 5-4.
Burke hit Wong and then got Verdugo on a fielder's choice before Sborz came on and retired Turner on a weak nubber to first.
The Red Sox signed catcher Jorge Alfaro to a one-year deal and designated catcher Caleb Hamilton for assignment. Alfaro played in 10 games for the Rockies this season, going 5-for-31 with four doubles and one home run. He is a .254 hitter with 48 homers in 488 career games with the Phillies, Marlins, Padres and Rockies.
The Rangers activated right-hander José Leclerc from the 15-day Injured List and optioned right-handed pitcher Joe Barlow to Triple-A Round Rock. Leclerc is 0-1 with one save and a 3.42 ERA in 24 games with Texas this season. He was placed on the IL after spraining his right ankle during batting practice June 23.
Rangers: Open a three-game series in Washington. Trevor Williams (5-4) will take the mound for the Nationals against a Rangers starter to be determined.
Red Sox: Head into the All-Star break with three against Oakland. The A's will start RHP Luis Medina (2-7); Boston's starter for the opener at Fenway is TBD.