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Red Sox 6, Rangers 1: Dingers, Dingers, and More Dingers!

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The Red Sox unleashed the beast against Kohei Arihara, exploding for four home runs off the Rangers starting pitcher.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight, the Red Sox got their first look at Kohei Arihara, one of the Rangers premier signings from last winter. He entered play with a respectable 4.03 ERA in 22 13 innings of work. The Red Sox offense, meanwhile, entered play averaging three runs per game over their last nine. If they were going to score, it was going to be against a guy who didn’t have fantastic stuff.

Early on, the game was very fun. Christian Arroyo, taking over for Enrique Hernández at leadoff, drew a walk, and Alex Verdugo also drew a walk. J.D. Martinez lived up to his nickname Just Dingers, and destroyed a baseball. It still hasn’t landed, even at this hour of the night. Just like that, it was 3-0, and Nathan Eovaldi hadn’t even taken the mound yet.

And more was on the way. Xander Bogaerts smashed a liner over the head of Adolis Garcia that ended up landing on the other side of the fence in left-center field. Another home run, another run on the board.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers struck back in the second inning off of Eovaldi, as Red Sox legend Brock Holt drove in a run, forsaking his old friends in Boston. Eovaldi limited the damage to one, keeping the lead at 4-1 in favor of the Red Sox after two full frames.

J.D. Martinez must have taken offense to Holt’s driving in a run, because in the following inning he took a splitter that hung over the middle of the plate and parked it over the center field fence, getting that run right back. With his second home run of the game, the score was now 5-1. Shortly after, it became 6-1 on a Rafael Devers home run (the Sox fourth of the game). If this sounds repetitive, it’s because it was. The Red Sox hit a lot of home runs, and it was pretty great.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The next several innings were extremely low-key. Eovaldi kept the Rangers off the board, doing his usual thing, mixing speeds and locations and being one of the most underrated starting pitchers in baseball. On the other side, the Rangers took Arihara out after 2 23 innings (having given up two walks and four hits, allowing six runs to score, primarily off of four home runs), and turned to Hyeon-Jong Yang, another of their new additions. Yang pitched well, holding the Sox to a hit and a walk over 4 13 innings of work.

We should also mention that Eovaldi did reach a cool milestone in this one, as he amassed his 1000th career inning. Just over 200 of those have been with the Red Sox, which feels surreal since he’s a guy who has both been around forever, and one who has not been healthy enough to get more innings under his belt in his career. A reminder: he is under contract through the end of the 2022 season. Today, he finished with six innings of one-run ball on four hits and two walks with five strikeouts.

Josh Taylor, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Austin Brice relieved Eovaldi in this one. Hernandez in particular was filthy for the second night in a row, something that I can only call encouraging considering the up-and-down nature of his pitching. A lot has been made of his control issues, but none of them were present in these last two games.

While the Red Sox were unable to put together any further runs against the Rangers relief core, it was also encouraging to see the offense rebound in a big way after yesterday, and really just the whole week in general. The Red Sox didn’t need six runs (they only really needed two), but it is sure nice to experience a comfortable, drama-free win every now and then. The Red Sox move to 17-10, 3.5 games up on the Blue Jays and four games up on the Rays in the AL East.

The Red Sox and Rangers face off again tomorrow at 7:05 PM ET as the Sox attempt to win their second straight game on the road, and guarantee at least a split in this series.

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