Rangers Crumble in Series Opener to Red Sox

Rangers Red Sox
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Red Sox 4, Rangers 2

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Sep 18) — The Texas Rangers dropped the opener in their series against the Boston Red Sox, 4–2, Monday evening. A home run in the first inning by Marcus Semien got the dugout excited, but it wasn’t enough to secure a victory for the Rangers after being swept by the Cleveland Guardians over the weekend at Progressive Field. They’ll look to even this series on Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm Central at Globe Life Field. It will be a matchup of righties as Tanner Houck (5–9, 4.94 ERA) will take the bump for the Red Sox, and Nathan Eovaldi (11–4, 2.96 ERA) will get the ball for the Rangers.

On Cloud Nine

The Rangers wasted no time getting on the board on Monday. On the first pitch he saw from Red Sox starter Kutter Crawford, Semien blasted one to left to give the Rangers a 1–0 lead in the top of the first. All nine of the Rangers’ leadoff homers this season have come off the bat of Semien. The Red Sox stayed silent at the plate until the top of the fifth. Bobby Dalbec doubled to right off Rangers starter Jordan Montgomery. On deck was Luis Urias, who drove in Dalbec with a single to center to tie the game 1–1. In the bottom of the sixth, rookie outfielder Evan Carter continued to impress with his bat. Carter led off the inning with a triple to right.

From here, the lineup flipped over bringing up Semien. He added to his night by plating Carter with a single to center to give the Rangers a 2–1 lead. The Red Sox jumped ahead 3–2 in the top of the eighth off Will Smith. Urias led off the inning with a walk, followed by a double to left by Connor Wong. Two batters later, Smith intentionally walked Rafael Devers to load the bases. The next batter was Rob Refsnyder, who brought in Urias and Wong with a single to center. This led Rangers manager Bruce Bochy to bring in Chris Stratton from the bullpen. The first batter he faced was Adam Duvall, who plated Devers with a sacrifice fly to right.

Montgomery Goes Seven

Montgomery took a no-decision in his 30th start of the season. His line was 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R-ER, 8 SO, 95 pitches/67 strikes. He left the game with a 2–1 lead after the seventh inning. It marked Montgomery’s 18th quality start of 2023, and his sixth as a Ranger. He has now started 30+ games in the last three seasons. Montgomery induced a season-high 21 swing-and-miss strikes in this one. Smith took the loss for the Rangers after pitching a third of an inning, bringing his record to 2–7 with an ERA of 4.47.

Crawford also took a no-decision in his third quality start in 12 outings since the All-Star Break. He retired 14 straight Rangers batters in the first five innings. Crawford gave up both of the Rangers’ runs on four hits. He struck out seven, and didn’t walk anyone. Josh Winckowski got the win after coming on in relief in the seventh. He pitched one inning, walked two and struck out three. His record is now 4–2 with an ERA of 2.88. Chris Martin earned his second save for the Red Sox.

Postgame Comments

After the game, Bochy took his usual seat in the interview room and addressed reporters. He was asked what his approach is when his team gets into a rut like the one they’re in. He said, “The only thing you can do is keep working with these guys. They’re trying, they really are. Monty (Jordan Montgomery) had a couple pitches get away from him, but for the most part he looked sharp. I would’ve like to see us pad the lead a little bit when we had it, but it just didn’t work out. Those guys over there are a better team than most give them credit for, and they just got the best of us tonight.”


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