Closing Time: John Lackey, Dustin Pedroia help Red Sox finally get over .500

Rob Bradford
May 11, 2014 - 1:57 pm

The Red Sox finally cleared the hurdle. With their 5-2 win over the Rangers Sunday, the Red Sox find themselves with their first winning record (19-18) since April 3. The victory also allowed the Sox to claim their third straight series, having gotten the upper hand on Oakland and Cincinnati coming into their three-gamer against Ron Washington's club. Leading the way this time was Red Sox starter John Lackey, who turned in his sixth quality start in eight outings this season. The righty went seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out nine and not walking a batter. Lackey, whose ERA now stands at 3.57, has given up two runs or less in all but two of his starts. The Red Sox spotted Lackey with a 4-0 lead after two innings, scoring three in the first and another in the second against Texas starter Robbie Ross. With the win, the Sox now are 10-4 against left-handed starters. Here is what went right (and wrong) for the Red Sox. WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX -- Mike Napoli has now reached base safely in 31 straight games after doubling in Dustin Pedroia with the game's first run in the first. The last time the first baseman didn't reach was the Red Sox' third game of the season. -- A.J. Pierzynski capped the scoring in the first frame with a two-run double into right field, plating both David Ortiz and Napoli. The catcher came into the game hitting just 3-for-22 (.136) against lefties. -- Pedroia raised his batting average to .289 after notching a pair of hits, including his second home run of the season. Until grounding out in his last at-bat, Pedroia had crept over .290 for the first time since the seventh game of the season. -- Andrew Miller continued his dominance, claiming strikeouts in two of his three outs. (The lefty did hit Elvis Andrus with a pitch.) In 16 innings this season, the lefty has fanned 23 batters while walking just four. More amazingly, in his last 12 games Miller has struck out 19 without a single free pass. -- Koji Uehara picked up his ninth save in nine opportunities, striking out two in a perfect ninth inning. WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX -- Shin-Soo Choo brought the Rangers within three runs with a solo home run to lead off the home half of the fourth inning. -- Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks was a late scratch due to a sore right hand, which was hit by a pitch Saturday night. Middlebrooks was replaced in the lineup by Jonathan Herrera, who went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt. Herrera did make a fine play on an Alex Rios grounder in the ninth.