BOSTON (AP) - Every time the Red Sox got something started early in the game Tuesday night, they stalled.
“Even though we got a number of leadoff hitters on base, we’ve got to be a little bit protective of just giving away outs,” manager John Farrell said. “It was the groundball double play that snuffed everything out.”
Robinson Chirinos started a five-run third inning with his first homer of the season as Texas took an 8-0 lead and held off the Red Sox after they started stringing together hits instead of grounding into double plays.
“It’s early in the season. You want to look at the positive side of things. Five double plays and we scored seven runs - I’m sure that’s pretty rare, too,” Gomes said. “I don’t think we’re scuffling. I just don’t think we’ve started. I think it’s too early in the season - offensively, defensively, pitching - to say we’re scuffling.”
The Rangers finished with 13 hits, the first time in six games that they had at least 10. And they were 7 for 15 with runners in scoring position one night after going 0 for 8 in a 5-1 loss in the opener of the three-game series.
Boston’s five double plays were one fewer than the American League record for a nine-inning game shared by eight teams. The major league mark of seven was set by the San Francisco Giants in 1969.
The Red Sox grounded into double plays by Dustin Pedroia in the first inning, A.J. Pierzynski in the second, Jackie Bradley Jr. in the third, Ryan Roberts in the fifth and Pedroia in the sixth. All of them came against Martin Perez (1-0).
Texas won for the second time in five games as every starter reached base by the fourth inning. Boston lost its fourth game in the last five.
Chirinos‘ second career homer broke a scoreless tie and began an inning in which the Rangers batted around against Felix Doubront (1-0). Shin-Soo Choo singled with one out and scored on a two-out double by Prince Fielder, who entered the game with four hits in 28 at-bats and just one RBI. The other runs scored on a single by Adrian Beltre, a double by Donnie Murphy and a bases-loaded walk to Chirinos.
The Rangers added three runs in the fourth against Burke Badenhop. Choo led off with a walk, went to second on a single by Elvis Andrus and scored on a single by Fielder. Beltre followed with a run-scoring double and Murphy made it 8-0 with a sacrifice fly.
“Playing catch-up is tough, especially at this level,” Gomes said.
Texas got that run back in the fifth on doubles by Chirinos and Choo.