BOSTON (AP) — As much as Yovani Gallardo struggled with his control early, two pitches he threw near the end of his five innings were the most costly to the Texas Rangers.
Gallardo settled down after allowing four hits and a run in the first inning Tuesday, but solo home runs by Mike Napoli and David Ortiz later helped the Boston Red Sox hold on for a 4-3 victory on a night when both teams struggled to generate much offense.
“Honestly, I don’t really think about that. I have to go out there and take care of my job. That first inning I threw a lot of pitches,” Gallardo said.
Gallardo (3-6) allowed 10 hits in five innings, but limited the damage to four runs. Napoli’s line shot hit one of the signs above the Green Monster in left field, and Ortiz added a line-drive homer that just cleared the low fence in right.
“I think the one to Ortiz was a pretty good pitch, but the other one to Napoli was right down the middle — a curveball that I left up,” Gallardo said.
Boston got a scare when Leonys Martin led off the ninth with a pinch-hit homer off Koji Uehara, ending the closer’s streak of eight straight hitless appearances. Uehara, however, held on for his 10th save in 11 opportunities.
Wade Miley (3-4) held the Rangers scoreless through the fifth.
Boston took a 1-0 lead in the first when Dustin Pedroia doubled with one out and scored on a single by Ortiz. Singles by Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval loaded the bases, but all three runners were stranded.
Napoli led off the fourth with his fourth homer of the season before Ortiz made it 3-0 with his sixth homer with one out in the fifth. Ramirez followed that with a double and scored on a single by Napoli.
Miley put runners in scoring position in five of his seven innings but allowed runs in just one of them.
“It felt like we had a chance, but Miley threw the ball well,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
Trailing 4-0, the Rangers scored two in the sixth on a double by Kyle Banks, a run-scoring single by Thomas Field and an RBI triple by Robinson Chirinos.
But Miley pitched a perfect seventh and Junichi Tazawa struck out two in the eighth before Uehara preserved the lead.
Boston, which scored two or fewer runs in five of its previous six games, also left the bases loaded in the seventh when Ramirez hit a ground-rule double and Sandoval was hit on the left knee by a pitch and left the game. Shane Victorino then drew a two-out walk, but Xander Bogaerts grounded out.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Banister was still unhappy after the game about Ramirez’s double to right in the fifth, when Shin-Soo Choo’s throw to second beat Ramirez to the bag but his awkward slide allowed him to avoid the tag. The Rangers challenged the call, but it stood after a video review of 2 minutes, 59 seconds.
Banister said he would need to look closely at the replay, but said it looked to him as though Ramirez was out.
“It felt like it was a play that should have been overturned, but it doesn’t matter, really,” Banister said. “The bottom line is what they see in New York and that’s part of the game that we live with.”
Rangers: Josh Hamilton returned to action in his rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco when the Rough Riders faced Midland. Hamilton took Monday off after going 5 for 9 on Saturday and Sunday. He is expected to return to the Rangers during a three-game series in Cleveland starting Monday.
Red Sox: Ramirez remained in the game after sliding awkwardly into second base on his double in the fifth. Manager John Farrell and a trainer came out to talk with Ramirez while the safe call was being reviewed.
Rangers: RHP Phil Klein (0-0) is scheduled to make his first start in his 24th major league appearance Wednesday in the second game of the three-game series. Klein is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Round Rock and take the spot of LHP Ross Detwiler, who went on the disabled list Sunday with left shoulder inflammation.
Red Sox: After four consecutive starts in which he allowed at least five earned runs, Joe Kelly (1-2) will be coming off his second-best outing of the season Wednesday. He gave up one run in 6 1-3 innings but did not get a decision last Thursday in Boston’s 2-1 win at Seattle.