Rangers edge Red Sox, but see another player injured
06/06/2013 2:03 AM
06/06/2013 9:47 AM
At this point, the quickest way to figure out which Texas Rangers players are injured might be to first ask which ones are healthy.
The able-bodied seem to be vastly outnumbered these days, and another joined the injury list Wednesday night when a trio of players who have been deemed healthy enough sparked a 3-2 victory over Boston.
Alexi Ogando allowed one run in his first start off the disabled list, and Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus delivered the key hits as the Rangers rebounded from a 17-5 drubbing a night earlier.
But the player who jump-started the winning rally, Mitch Moreland, will be back in Texas on Thursday morning for an MRI exam on his tight right hamstring, and his immediate availability was in doubt at Fenway Park.
Let yet another lineup shuffle begin.
“We’ll be all right,” manager Ron Washington said. “It seems like whenever our back is against the wall, we know how to fight.”
Beltre homered in his first game after taking two off to rest a strained left hamstring, and Elvis Andrus, who has been dealing with back soreness for more than a week, had a two-run, go-ahead double in the seventh.
But the biggest lift came from Ogando, who allowed three hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. The only scratch against him came against the final batter he faced as Dustin Pedroia had just enough to clear the Green Monster only 315 feet from home plate.
Ogando made quick work of the Red Sox over the first three innings, facing the minimum despite allowing a hit and a walk.
He needed only 37 pitches the first time through the Boston order and retired Daniel Nava on strikes to start the fourth after Beltre had homered for a 1-0 lead moments earlier. But Mike Carp followed with a towering double to center that was about a foot shy of being a home run, and Pedroia walked.
That brought up David Ortiz and his 28 career homers against the Rangers. Ogando, though, got him swinging and got Mike Napoli looking on the eighth pitch of the at-bat to end the Boston threat.
“That was a really big inning,” Ogando said. “I had to focus on every pitch I threw, and I couldn’t make any mistake pitches that inning.”
Ogando worked around a two-out walk in the fifth and got the first two outs in the sixth before Pedroia lofted a towering fly ball just over the Green Monster — a ball that is caught in every other ballpark except Houston.
The homer tied the game and ended Ogando’s night at 92 pitches. He struck out six in his first start since May 15 at Oakland.
“We needed exactly what he gave us,” Washington said. “He certainly didn’t look like a guy who had been on the DL.”
The Rangers quickly pulled back ahead, though they might have lost Moreland to a DL stint in the process. He started the seventh with a double down the first-base line off Craig Breslow but slowed as he headed into second base after feeling his hamstring tighten.
Moreland pulled his left hamstring last year at San Diego and was lost to the DL but said the pain this time around isn’t as bad.
“It just got a little stiff in an important part of the game,” he said. “I’m going to go back, get it checked on, get the MRI, and I’ll try to be back on the plane and back here tomorrow night.”
Moreland was replaced by Jeff Baker, who stayed at second on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Jurickson Profar that resulted in the first out. Pinch hitter Craig Gentry followed and took a walk despite two quick strikes against him.
Koji Uehara entered, and Andrus drove the first pitch from his former teammate into the gap in left-center field to drive in both runners.
“He knows Koji likes to throw strikes, and fortunately he caught it,” Washington said.
Boston threatened in its half off the inning, which started with Neal Cotts walking Stephen Drew. Jose Iglesias followed with a single off Robbie Ross, who retired the next three Red Sox in order to keep the Rangers’ cushion at two runs.
The escape loomed large as Boston scored one off Tanner Scheppers with two outs in the eighth. Joe Nathan, though, took care of the rest with a perfect ninth inning to save the win for Cotts, who walked three and retired only one batter.
The win ranks as Cotts’ first in the majors since July 1, 2006.
“What a way to do it, huh?” Cotts said.
But he’ll take it. And in a season where, so far, the injured seem to be outnumbering the healthy, the Rangers will take it, too.
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