The Texas Rangers completed their sweep of the Boston Red Sox with a 4-3 walkoff win courtesy of an Adrian Beltre single.
The game, initially billed as a pitchers' duel, actually started as something of a home run derby. And it was the Red Sox who took advantage early. After Dustin Pedroia reached base with a lucky dribbler back to the mound, David Ortiz saw a high fastball from Darvish and put a big swing on it, hammering the ball into the stands in right for a two-run shot.
Next in line was David Ross, who came up with one out and the bases empty in the second. Darvish' mistake this time came in the form of a hanging breaking ball, which Ross was able to drive fair past the foul pole for another homer, making it 3-0 Red Sox.
While Jon Lester had started strong and Darvish struggled out of the gates, the two would switch roles as the game went on. Darvish would more than lock down, striking out batter after batter as he pitched his way through the end of the seventh, leaving with 14 Ks.
Just as Darvish locked in, Lester began to struggle. It was Mitch Moreland who took advantage first, answering David Ross' solo shot with one of his own on a fastball high and outside that he muscled out to left field. Lester would spend the next couple innings dodging bullets, but finally found himself tagged again in the sixth, this time by Nelson Cruz. Texas' right fielder got all of a fastball that leaked back over the plate, driving it out to center field and tying the game at three-all.
Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, and Andrew Miller managed to keep the Sox alive in the seventh and eighth, but the offense wasted big opportunities after putting a pair of runners on in both the eighth and ninth innings. With still no lead in sight, the Sox turned to Clayton Mortensen for the ninth. And while at first Mortensen looked like he was going to send the game to the tenth, two-out trouble would end up spelling the difference.
Elvis Andrus started the rally with a single to left-center, and moved to second when Jarrod Saltalamacchia failed to come up with a low pitch. Now with first base open, the Sox elected to walk Lance Berkman to bring up the struggling Adrian Beltre. It was a tactic that had worked once earlier in the game, but would not work twice. Beltre flipped a pitch at the bottom of the strike zone into right field, and Andrus raced home to complete the sweep.
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