BOSTON (AP) — Nelson Cruz and the Texas Rangers found their offense one day after Jon Lester took it away.
Cruz led a 12-hit attack with a double, triple and homer, helping the Rangers beat the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Sunday and bounce back from Lester's 6 1-3 innings of perfect pitching.
"I'm very glad with how the guys recovered," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "You learn from the day before and you go out there and it's a different challenge every day."
Michael Young got the Rangers off to a fast start with a solo homer off Daisuke Matsuzaka in the first inning. Young also had Texas' first hit Saturday night, but that double didn't come until the seventh inning of Boston's 8-1 win as Lester tossed a two-hitter.
"Michael got us on the board early and from that point we just waited (Matsuzaka) out," Washington said. "When he did have to make pitches and he made them over the plate, we put them in play."
The Rangers won a series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park for the first time since a three-game sweep in August 1997. They were 0-12-3 in their last 15 series at Boston and 1-9 in their last 10 road games against the Red Sox before Sunday's win.
Cruz, playing at Fenway for the first time, went 0 for 8 with two strikeouts in the first two games, then had three straight extra-base hits after striking out in his first at-bat in the series finale.
"It was tough the first couple of games," said Cruz, whose 17th homer of the season went far over the Green Monster. "Mikey (Young) and Ian (Kinsler) told me it was the same thing for them."
Cruz doubled and scored in the third, tripled and scored in the fifth and hit a solo shot in the seventh off Hideki Okajima that ended Boston's bullpen scoreless streak at 12 innings.
Cruz's double ended an 0-for-11 slump. He is tied with Tampa Bay's Carlos Pena and Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira for the AL lead in homers.
Vicente Padilla (4-3) allowed two earned runs and four hits in seven innings for Texas, lowering his ERA to 5.22.
"We all sit around and say we don't know how he has a 5 ERA," Boston's Kevin Youkilis said. "He can dominate a game."
C.J. Wilson pitched the ninth for his fifth save in six chances.
Matsuzaka (1-4) gave up 10 hits and five runs in 5 2-3 innings for Boston. He struck out eight and didn't walk a batter but his wild pitch in the fifth allowed Cruz to score, extending Texas' lead to 5-3.
"I thought he missed over the middle and up on a team that can really make you pay when you throw the ball in the middle," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.
The Rangers scored in each of the first three innings to build a 4-0 lead. Boston responded with two in the third and Mark Kotsay's first homer since joining the Red Sox on Aug. 27 in a trade with Atlanta cut it to 4-3 in the fourth.
The Red Sox ended three of the first six innings with players thrown out on the bases.
Youkilis was picked off second after a two-out double in the first. Then Jason Bay, in the second, and David Ortiz, in the sixth, were thrown out by Taylor Teagarden trying to steal second.
"Our baserunning was terrible," Mike Lowell said. "You're going to have days like that."
Notes:@ Boston CF Jacoby Ellsbury left in the top of the sixth with a right shoulder strain. Francona said he'll be re-examined Monday. ... Padilla has allowed fewer than four runs in five of his last six starts. ... Youkilis was hit on the left elbow by a pitch in the third, but plate umpire Tim Timmons didn't send him to first. On the next pitch, Youkilis walked. "He just said I didn't move my arm out of the way," Youkilis said. ... Boston RF J.D. Drew missed his second straight game with a sore shoulder. ... Okajima's scoreless streak of 16 1-3 innings ended with Cruz's homer. ... The Red Sox lost for just the second time in seven games.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
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