What a difference some runs can make to your pitching staff.
Rangers' starter Mike Minor bent but didn't break while Red Sox starter David Price was bent, twisted and mangled until he burst in Thursday's series opener at Globe Life Park.
Price and the first-place Red Sox took it on the chin from the last-place Rangers and Minor, who matched his season-high of six innings while earning the win to improve to 3-1. Nomar Mazara propelled the offense with two hits, including a three-run homer, and five RBIs as Texas rolled 11-5.
Minor worked out of bigger trouble in four consecutive innings after a perfect first. He spoiled a lead-off double in the second with three consecutive outs. He got Xander Bogaerts to pop out to center after a walk and a single in the third.
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After the first four batters reached on three singles and a walk in the fourth, he limited the Red Sox to two sacrifice flies before knocking down Hanley Ramirez's sharp comebacker, tracking it down as it rolled toward second, and fired to first baseman Joey Gallo to end the inning.
After an infield single and walk started the fifth, Minor induced a couple of groundouts and struck out Edward Nunez. He made another dazzling defensive play to end the top of the sixth. He received Gallo's throw while covering first with his throwing hand to just beat Mookie Betts to the bag.
Meanwhile, Price left allowing a season-high nine runs, including a season-high seven earned runs, on six hits and two walks. It's the most earned runs he has allowed since allowing eight to the Rays in 3 2/3 innings on April 21, 2016.
After a clean first inning, Price hit Joey Gallo, who score on Jurickson Profar's triple to deep right-center field.
Profar scored on Renato Nunez's sac fly to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead after two innings. Mazara's two-run double made it 4-1 in the third and his three-run homer off reliever Hector Velazquez capped a six-run fifth.
The previous high mark for the Rangers this season was eight runs.