The Boston Red Sox are among the best offensive teams in baseball, so having their recent winning streak powered by their lineup isn't much of a surprise.
While production from David Ortiz is expected, the Red Sox are getting contributions from several surprising candidates.
Boston (36-23) leads the AL East in part because it's hitting .272 and averaging 5.2 runs to rank among the most potent offenses in the majors.
The Red Sox have been even better during the win streak, batting .405 with nine homers and outscoring opponents 31-6. They collected season highs of 19 hits and eight doubles while hitting four homers Tuesday in a 17-5 win in the opener of this three-game set.
Ortiz, the team leader with a .333 average, drove in three runs while hitting a double and legging out his first triple since April 11, 2011.
"He's playing with a lot of life. He's playing with a lot of enthusiasm and I think that is the overriding attitude that is in that group downstairs," manager John Farrell said.
The same could be said of Nava, Iglesias and Bradley.
Nava is 8 for 13 with a homer, two doubles, five RBIs and six runs over the past three games, and Iglesias is 9 for 20 with one homer and five RBIs in the last five.
Bradley has a .167 average on the season, so he may be the biggest surprise during the winning streak. The rookie outfielder is 4 for 12 (.333) with two doubles, and his only hit Tuesday was his first career homer - a three-run shot.
Bradley may remain in the lineup despite Jacoby Ellsbury 's expected return from a groin injury that has sidelined him for four games. The center fielder was 11 for 23 with seven steals in his last five games before getting hurt.
The AL West-leading Rangers (35-22) will be hoping Alexi Ogando (4-2, 3.08 ERA) can quiet the Red Sox's bats. He's scheduled to take the mound for the first time since a 6-2 win at Oakland on May 15 due to right biceps tendinitis.
Ogando was 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA over his three previous starts before his injury, a stretch that started with a 5-1 home win against the Red Sox on May 4. He yielded one run in six innings opposite John Lackey , who is scheduled to pitch Wednesday.
Ogando is 1-1 while allowing one run and one hit with five strikeouts and three walks in five innings over four relief outings at Fenway Park.
Lackey (3-5, 2.96) has won two of three home starts behind a 0.90 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 20 innings.
The veteran right-hander wasn't nearly that effective on the road last Wednesday, allowing three solo homers in six innings of a 4-3 defeat to Philadelphia. Lackey gave up two unearned runs and three hits over 13 innings in winning his previous two starts.
He's 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA in his last two outings against Texas and owns a 6.14 ERA in going 12-15 in 37 matchups. His ERA is his worst versus any team he's faced more than once, and the 37 starts are his most against any club.
|June 01, 2013||Adrian Beltre||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left hamstring tightness|
|May 18, 2013||Ian Kinsler||15-Day DL||Right intercostal strain|
|May 16, 2013||Alexi Ogando||15-Day DL||Right biceps tendinitis|
|May 06, 2013||A.J. Pierzynski||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|May 06, 2013||A.J. Pierzynski||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|April 20, 2013||Nick Tepesch||Day-to-Day||Left game - right arm bruise|
|Boston Red Sox|
|May 31, 2013||Jacoby Ellsbury||Day-to-Day||Tight left groin|
|May 26, 2013||Clay Buchholz||Day-to-Day||Right collarbone pain|
|May 24, 2013||Will Middlebrooks||15-Day DL||Low back strain|
|May 23, 2013||Will Middlebrooks||Day-to-Day||Left game - lower back spasms|
|May 21, 2013||Shane Victorino||15-Day DL||Left hamstring strain|
|May 20, 2013||Shane Victorino||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left hamstring tightness|
BOSTON (AP) -- Elvis Andrus and the Texas Rangers didn't let their recent problems bother them.
Andrus hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the seventh inning after earlier ending a 1-for-18 slump. And his team beat the Red Sox 3-2 on Wednesday night one day after getting thumped by Boston 17-5.
"It was a huge win for us," Andrus said. "We're really good trying to turn the page and be ready for the next game. That's the way we've had success so far the last couple of years."
He went 2 for 4 in the meeting of the AL's top two teams. He singled in the fifth, and hopes the hitting will carry over for a while.
"You can't get (frustrated)," said Andrus, whose batting average has dropped from .282 to .261 in his last 14 games. "I know I haven't found my swing so far this year, but, at some point, it will get back. So I'm really glad just to do something for the team to get a win."
The victory gave the Rangers their best record through the first 58 games at 36-22 - their previous best was 35-23 three times in the 1990s. They also broke a four-game road losing streak.
Texas has the best record in the AL, while Boston is second at 36-24 after its three-game winning streak was stopped.
The Rangers also got a big lift from Alexi Ogando , who returned after being on the disabled list since May 16 with a strained right biceps. He allowed one run on three hits in 5 2-3 innings and left after allowing Dustin Pedroia 's tying homer with two outs in the sixth.
"To be out two weeks and to get a rehab start and throw 60 pitches," Texas manager Ron Washington said, "and then come against that lineup that showed what their might is about last night and shut them down like that, he deserves a lot of credit. It was a lift for us. We needed it."
Five Texas pitchers allowed Boston just five hits one day after the Red Sox got 19, including 13 for extra bases, in the opener of the three-game series.
Neal Cotts (1-0) got his first win since 2006 despite walking three of the four batters he faced. Craig Breslow (2-1) took the loss.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled in a run for Boston in the eighth, but Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his 18th save in 19 chances.
John Lackey , sidelined all last season after Tommy John elbow surgery, gave up one run - Adrian Beltre 's 12th homer of the season in the fourth - and five hits in six innings. He lowered his ERA from 2.96 to 2.79.
"I'm definitely taking some positives out of it," he said. "I think I'll take giving up one run for the rest of the way,"
His catcher was impressed.
"I thought he threw the ball great. Velocity was really up there," Saltalamacchia said. "There was a couple times where the ball was actually hurting my hand. He was able to throw that ball over the plate."
In the fifth, Andrus singled off Lackey then got the big hit on the first pitch from reliever Koji Uehara , his teammate in Texas the past two seasons.
"Elvis usually does that type of stuff," Washington said. "It seems like when he's in those types of situations where the team needed a lift and he's up there he finds a way to come through. We've known Koji for quite a while. He was with us and (Andrus) didn't waste any time. He jumped on his first pitch. He knows Koji likes to throw strikes and he jumped on it."
Breslow had relieved Lackey to start the seventh and allowed a leadoff double to Mitch Moreland , who left the game with tightness in his right hamstring and was replaced by pinch-runner Jeff Baker . After Jurickson Profar grounded out, pinch-hitter Craig Gentry walked and Uehara replaced Breslow to face Andrus, who broke the 1-1 tie.
Boston threatened with no outs in the seventh when Stephen Drew led off with a walk and went to second on a single by Jose Iglesias . After Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out, both runners advanced on a wild pitch. But Daniel Nava grounded out and Jonny Gomes flied out.
Saltalamacchia's double in the eighth drove in Mike Napoli , who walked with two outs.
NOTES: Moreland said he would return to Texas for an MRI and hoped to be back for Thursday night's game. ... Lackey didn't get a decision for the first time in his nine starts. He allowed three runs or less for the eighth time this season. ... Iglesias reached base for the 17th time in his 18 games. ... To make room for Ogando, the Rangers sent LHP Joseph Ortiz to Triple-A Round Rock. Ortiz allowed six runs in 2 1-3 innings in Boston's win on Tuesday night. ... Derek Holland (5-2) pitches for Texas against Jon Lester (6-2) on Thursday night.