On a night when the Texas Rangers’ offense showed how capable it can be from top to bottom, one of the club’s biggest bats might be headed to the disabled list.
At the very least, cleanup hitter Adrian Beltre will miss the finale Wednesday at Fenway Park to travel back to Texas for an exam with Dr. Keith Meister after leaving Tuesday’s 10-7 victory over Boston with tightness in his left quadriceps muscle.
Beltre also had problems with his left quad during spring training, missing a week of games, but the discomfort he felt after a fourth-inning RBI double is in different location.
His double made the score 7-1. Donnie Murphy followed with a sacrifice fly to deep right field, but Beltre didn’t tag up and go to third. He would have made it easily.
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With a seven-run lead, manager Ron Washington decided to remove Beltre, who was the designated hitter, from the game.
“We’ll just have to wait and see what Dr. Meister has to say,” Washington said. “We had an 8-1 lead. He aggravated it. I don’t see why I should leave him in there. That’s just doing the right thing.”
Robinson Chirinos jump-started a five-run third with a leadoff homer, and No. 6 hitter Donnie Murphy had two RBIs to balance out the contributions from the top-heavy, All-Star laden lineup.
The Rangers had only one walk against Felix Doubront in the first two innings, but Chirinos started the third with a drive down the left-field line that cleared the Green Monster to break a scoreless tie.
It was his first home run since Aug. 3, 2011, in the 12th game of his career.
“I just thank God for this great day,” said Chirinos, who went 2 for 4. “I had a great day at the plate, and we won the game. You can’t ask for a better day than that.”
Shin-Soo Choo singled two batters later, and, after Elvis Andrus struck out, Prince Fielder hit a chopper over the head of first baseman Mike Napoli, past the dive of second baseman Dustin Pedroia and into the right-field corner for a double to bring Choo home from first.
Beltre was next, and his single to center scored Fielder. After Alex Rios extended the inning with a single, Murphy sent a blooper to center that froze center fielder Grady Sizmore long enough for the ball to fall for an RBI double.
Doubront then issued consecutive walks to Michael Choice and Chirinos to force in another run and give the Rangers their biggest inning of the season.
“We were getting good pitches to hit,” Chirinos said. “We were trying to stay in the strike zone. I know he sometimes has trouble throwing strikes, and we brought him into the strike zone and put a good swing on him.”
Choo sparked a three-run fourth with a walk and scored two batters later on a Fielder single to right. Andrus, who had singled, scored on the double by Beltre.
Chirinos scored the Rangers’ lone run in the fifth after starting with a double and scoring on a double by Choo, who reached in his first four plate appearances.
The bottom four in the Rangers’ lineup went only 3 for 14, but they drove in five runs. The top of the lineup went 9 for 20 before Beltre exited. His replacement, Jim Adduci, went 1 for 2.
“The guys at the bottom of the order are going to have to play their part,” Washington said. “Tonight they played a big part in everything. Yes, we’ve got names at the top, but we’ve got baseball players at the bottom.”
Martin Perez (1-0) allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings and benefited from five double plays turned behind him, one shy of the club record.
The Red Sox saw their leadoff man reach in the first seven innings against Perez, but four times Perez got a double play grounder from the next batter.
Boston bounced into five double plays in the first six innings, including one to end the second with a runner at third in a scoreless game.
Since 1972, the only Rangers pitcher with more than five double plays in one game is fellow lefty Matt Harrison with six in a 2011 game at Yankee Stadium. Perez is tied with Doc Medich (1982) and Kevin Gross (1995).
“We made a lot of double plays tonight, and that’s good for us,” said Perez, who used his sinker to keep the ball on the ground. “They were swinging the bat hard, but that’s OK. It’s in the past; we won the game; and we have to come back tomorrow and win a game.”
The Rangers will have to win without Beltre, possibly for an extended stretch.