Explosions of offense in the second and sixth innings lead to the eventual 10-6 win for the Boston Red Sox (32-15) over the Texas Rangers (18-30).
The Sox made quick work of Rangers’ starter Brandon McCarthy handing him his early exit after a four run second.
McCarthy earned his fifth loss of the season (4-5) going two innings with four earned runs, on one hit, four walks, and a strikeout.
Daisuke Matsuzaka was the winning pitcher going only five innings with five earned runs on three walks, seven hits, six strikeouts, and giving up two homeruns.
Matsuzaka’s early departure was believed due to a battle with nausea. Dice-K had only thrown 85 pitches threw five innings.
Even with the early 4-0 lead the Sox did not have total control of the game.
The Rangers tested the moxy of the Sox in the fourth inning on a leadoff triple by first baseman Mark Teixeira. Sammy Sosa followed Teixeira and doubled moving Teixeira to third base. Frank Catalanotto launched a three-run homerun that cut the deficit to 4-3.
Matsuzaka still was not out of the clear in this inning giving up the go-ahead run on a Ramon Vazquez homerun that scored Gerald Laird making it 5-4.
After the usual big inning that Matsuzaka gives up during his outings, the Sox answered back with two runs in the top of the fifth and four more in the sixth.
Mike Lowell walked to begin the big sixth innning for the Sox. Jason Varitek knocked Lowell in with a triple and was later brought in by a Coco Crisp double.
The Sox were not done scoring as Julio Lugo singled to bring home Crisp. Lugo stole second and was batted around by the red hot Kevin Youkilis.
Texas clawed another run across on a wild pitch by Brendan Donnelly but that was all as the Sox won 10-6.
Jonathan Papelbon closed the ninth inning in another non-save situation just to secure the win for the Sox putting them 10.5 games ahead of the New York Yankees who lost by an identical score to the Angels 10-6.
The Boston Red Sox will send Tim Wakefield to the mound against Vicente Padilla and the Texas Rangers later tonight at 8:05 p.m.