Every time the Red Sox got something started early in the game Tuesday night, they stalled.
Boston got 14 hits but hit into five double plays, quickly ending several potential rallies before putting together a late one that wasn’t quite enough in a 10-7 loss to the Texas Rangers.
“Even though we got a number of leadoff hitters on base, we’ve got to be a little bit protective of just giving away outs,” manager John Farrell said. “It was the groundball double play that snuffed everything out.”
Robinson Chirinos started a five-run third inning with his first homer of the season as Texas took an 8-0 lead and held off the Red Sox after they started stringing together hits instead of grounding into double plays.
Boston scored three runs in the ninth against Joakim Soria on an RBI single by Jonny Gomes and a two-run double by David Ortiz, but Mike Napoli struck out to end the game.
“It’s early in the season. You want to look at the positive side of things. Five double plays and we scored seven runs — I’m sure that’s pretty rare, too,” Gomes said. “I don’t think we’re scuffling. I just don’t think we’ve started. I think it’s too early in the season — offensively, defensively, pitching — to say we’re scuffling.”
The Rangers finished with 13 hits, the first time in six games that they had at least 10. And they were 7 for 15 with runners in scoring position one night after going 0 for 8 in a 5-1 loss in the opener of the three-game series.
Boston’s five double plays were one fewer than the American League record for a nine-inning game shared by eight teams. The major league mark of seven was set by the San Francisco Giants in 1969.
The Red Sox grounded into double plays by Dustin Pedroia in the first inning, A.J. Pierzynski in the second, Jackie Bradley Jr. in the third, Ryan Roberts in the fifth and Pedroia in the sixth. All of them came against Martin Perez (1-0).
Texas won for the second time in five games as every starter reached base by the fourth inning. Boston lost its fourth game in the last five.
Chirinos’ second career homer broke a scoreless tie and began an inning in which the Rangers batted around against Felix Doubront (1-0). Shin-Soo Choo singled with one out and scored on a two-out double by Prince Fielder, who entered the game with four hits in 28 at-bats and just one RBI. The other runs scored on a single by Adrian Beltre, a double by Donnie Murphy and a bases-loaded walk to Chirinos.
The Rangers added three runs in the fourth against Burke Badenhop. Choo led off with a walk, went to second on a single by Elvis Andrus and scored on a single by Fielder. Beltre followed with a run-scoring double and Murphy made it 8-0 with a sacrifice fly.
“Playing catch-up is tough, especially at this level,” Gomes said.
Boston scored in the fourth on a double by Pedroia and one of Napoli’s three singles.
Texas got that run back in the fifth on doubles by Chirinos and Choo.
The Red Sox cut the lead to 9-4 in the seventh on an RBI single by Pierzynski and a two-run double by Bradley before Michael Choice hit a sacrifice fly for Texas in the ninth.
NOTES: Beltre left in the sixth with tightness in his left thigh. … Napoli had three singles for the second straight game. … Andrus and Alex Rios have hits in all eight Rangers games. … Roberts made his debut for Boston after signing as a free agent Monday. He spent last season with Tampa Bay and spring training this year with the Chicago Cubs. … Robbie Ross (0-0) pitches for Texas against Jake Peavy (0-0) in the series finale Wednesday.