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Red Sox 11, Rangers 3: A rare series win

And a stress-free one at that.

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Boston Red Sox v Texas Rangers Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

For the first time since early April in Detroit, only the second series on the 2022 schedule for the Red Sox, Boston has won a series. And for what certainly feels like the first time this season, they have won back-to-back stress-free games as this trip to Texas appears to be precisely what the doctor ordered for this offense, at least as a short-term cure.

Just as they did on Friday night in the series opener, the Red Sox bats got going right away to give Rich Hill and the pitching staff an early cushion. After two quick outs to start the game, J.D. Martinez worked a good at bat, fouling off a 3-2 pitch before getting a mistake. Rangers starter Glenn Otto left a sinker up in the zone to the Red Sox slugger, and Martinez smoked it out to left-center field for a 404-foot home run, and Boston took the 1-0 lead.

That lead would only be temporary, though, as Texas did get things going themselves in the bottom half of the first, getting some help from Trevor Story along the way. Eli White led off that half-inning with a fairly routine ground ball over to the right side, but Story couldn’t get a handle on it and allowed it to get into the outfield. After reaching on the error, White then quickly stole second, and then third in the next at bat before Corey Seager put a line drive in front of Jackie Bradley Jr. in right field. With that, we were all tied up at one with Hill allowing the unearned run.

That was the last time there was any real stress in the game, as the offense took over in the second. Franchy Cordero led things off with a walk as he continues to work strong at bats, and after a Christian Vázquez single Bobby Dalbec came through with a base hit of his own, the first of two for him on the day. That knock gave Boston their lead back before an out was even recorded, and they’d get another one after a bunt and an Enrique Hernández RBI single. Now up two, Rafael Devers had the big swing, attacking a 1-2 changeup that Otto didn’t quite get down enough and sending it over the wall in left for an opposite-field shot. The Red Sox were now up 5-1 and were not going to look back.

They’d up scoring six more runs as the game went along, with the fifth representing their other big inning as they sent three across there. Hernández was the run producer for a lot of that, coming through with an RBI in each of the second, fourth, and fifth innings and knocking in three on the day. Story was the only player in the Red Sox lineup without an RBI, though he did score one. He was also the only player without a hit, and six of Boston’s nine hitters had at least two on the day.

Meanwhile, the pitching was just about as good as the offense with Hill impressing in his return from the COVID list. He got into some trouble in the first, though again the error had a lot to do with that inning. He then cruised through the next five, not allowing any more runs. Hill actually came back out for a seventh inning of work as well, though that proved to be a bit too much. After giving up back-to-back singles, he was left to face in one more batter, the left-handed Kole Calhoun, who smoked a two-run double to give Hill his first earned runs of the night and ending his outing. Overall it was impressive work, though, with just the two earned runs over six-plus innings, striking out four without issuing a walk.

Now all that was left was for the bullpen to not implode, and they managed to stay on track and end this game without any funny business. Hirokazu Sawamura came in after the Calhoun double and retired three of four batters to keep any more runs off the board. Then finishing things out were Matt Barnes and Jake Diekman, both of whom have been struggling. Each came through with much-needed strong showings here, combining to retire six in a row to end this game. The 11-3 win is Boston’s second in a row, and they now have a chance tonight at a sweep with Austin Davis leading a bullpen day against Martín Pérez. First pitch is at 2:35 PM ET.

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Courtesy of FanGraphs