Alex Cora has never hesitated to know that the Boston Red Sox are a good team, despite their early struggles and being at the bottom of the AL East standings.
“Nothing has changed,” Cora said. “We just got off to a bad start and we know where we are.”
The Red Sox now appear to be making a move in the right direction. They have their first win in the series in a month.
JD Martinez extended his on-base streak to 31 games with a first-inning homer, 42-year-old Rich Hill pitched to seventh in his return from the COVID-19 roster and the Red Sox beat the Rangers 11-3. Texas. on saturday night. Rafael Devers also homered for Boston, which set a season record for runs and won the first two in the three-game weekend series.
“We’re getting there,” Cora said. “Good at-bats. The bottom of the lineup did an amazing job. …she kept the line moving. It was another good one for the offense.”
Kiké Hernández drove in three runs, with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, a fielder’s choice ground-out in the fourth and a double in the fifth.
The Red Sox (13-20) had only won one of their first 10 series, winning two of three at Detroit on April 11-13 during the first week of the season. They had gone 0-6-2 in their series since then, including a two-game split in World Series champion Atlanta earlier this week.
Hill (1-1) threw 64 of 94 pitches for strikes in his first start since May 5. The left-hander, who during his quarantine pitched alone in a couple of empty fields near his home, struck out four without walking. . He allowed three runs on seven hits, the last two-run double by Kole Calhoun after Texas led off the seventh with straight singles.
“It was pretty crowded,” said Hill, who also cast a net at home. “I went out alone and just, it seemed a little crazy, but I was ready.”
Martinez went deep on a two-out full-count pitch on the first down by rookie Glenn Otto (1-1). It was his fourth home run this season and extended his best hitting streak in the majors to 15 games. Martinez also singled and walked twice as he added to the longest on-base streak of his career, including the 26 games he has played this season.
Otto had four strikeouts and four walks while pitching to fifth. He allowed eight runs and eight hits.
Texas tied it up in the bottom of the first when leadoff hitter Eli White reached on an error by second baseman Trevor Story, then stole second and third before going home on Corey Seager’s single. Seager had gone 3-for-28 — all those solo homer hits — in his previous eight games. But the Rangers trailed 9-1 before getting another runoff at Hill.
“You let him get comfortable and he starts spinning the ball like he does, he’s strong,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said.
The Red Sox took control with a four-run second inning capped by Devers’ two-run homer, an opposite-field line drive that bounced off the left-field post for a 5-1 lead.
“I know they’ve been struggling to get into the win-loss column,” Woodward said. “That team has been together for a while and they have some really good hitters there. They just kicked our butts. That is the end result.”