ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — J.D. Martinez extended his on-base streak to 31 games with a first-inning homer, 42-year-old Rich Hill pitched into the seventh in his return from the COVID-19 list and the Boston Red Sox clinched their first series victory in a month with an 11-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.
Rafael Devers also homered for Boston, which set a season high for runs and has won the first two in the three-game weekend series. Kiké Hernández drove in three runs — with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, a fielder’s choice grounder in the fourth and a double in the fifth.
The Red Sox (13-20) had only won one of their first 10 series, taking two of three at Detroit from April 11-13 during the first week of the season. They had gone 0-6-2 in their series since, including splitting two games at World Series champion Atlanta earlier this week, to fall to the bottom of the AL East standings.
Hill (1-1) threw 64 of his 94 pitches for strikes in his first start since May 5. The left-hander struck out four without a walk while allowing three runs and seven hits, the last Kole Calhoun’s two-run double after Texas opened the seventh with consecutive singles.
Martinez went deep on a full-count pitch with two outs in the first off rookie Glenn Otto (1-1). It was his fourth homer this season, and extended his majors-best hitting streak to 15 games. Martinez also singled and walked twice while adding on to the longest on-base streak in his career, including all 26 games he has played this season.
Otto had four strikeouts and four walks while pitching into the fifth. He gave up eight runs and eight hits.
Texas got even in the bottom of the first when leadoff hitter Eli White reached on second baseman Trevor Story’s error, then stole second and third base before going home on Corey Seager’s single. Seager had been 3 for 28, all of those hits solo homers, his previous eight games.
The Red Sox took control with a four-run second inning capped by Devers’ two-run homer, an opposite-field liner that ricocheted off the left field pole for a 5-1 lead.
Red Sox: LF Alex Verdugo was out of the lineup with a bruised right foot. He exited in the seventh inning of Friday’s game after fouling a pitch off his foot. Manager Alex Cora said Verdugo was still feeling some pain, but that X-rays came back negative.
Rangers: RHP Jon Gray will wear a brace on his left knee when he starts against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, exactly a week after leaving his last start with a knee strain. Gray got through a bullpen session Saturday without any issues.
Rangers left-hander Martin Perez (1-2, 2.10 ERA), who has allowed only two earned runs over 26 1/3 innings (0.68 ERA) his last four starts after losing his first two, goes in the season finale against Boston. He pitched for the Red Sox the past two seasons before rejoining his original MLB team this spring.
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