Benintendi leads Red Sox past Rangers 11-4 for 6th straight win

Boston Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi (16) is congratulated by teammate Jackie Bradley Jr. (19) after he hit a solo home run in the 8th inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, July 4, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. Boston defeated Texas 11-4. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Red Sox rookie Andrew Benintendi opened the series in Texas with a winning bloop. His impressive encore included a couple of big blasts.

Benintendi homered twice in a five-hit game, drove in six runs and made a spectacular catch in left field — backing up six-plus scoreless innings by David Price — as Boston stretched the longest winning streak in the majors to six games with an 11-4 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday night.

“Huge night,” manager John Farrell said. “Offensively, obviously the five base hits, the two homers. He makes one heck of a catch at a pivotal time going up against the wall.”

The first Red Sox rookie with two five-hit games in a season, Benintendi had a three-run homer in the fifth that chased All-Star pitcher Yu Darvish (6-7), who matched career highs by allowing seven runs and 11 hits.

Benintendi led off the eighth by going the opposite way for his 12th homer, with the ball hitting on top of the 14-foot wall down the left-field line. Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with his 11th home run.

“The win, that’s what I liked the most,” Benintendi said.

A night after his two-run, bloop single in the 11th inning was the difference in a 7-5 win, Benintendi put the Red Sox up to stay with a dribbler through the middle of the infield for an RBI single in the second.

“To see one kind of fall like that, it kind of built me up a little bit,” Benintendi said, referring to his decisive hit Monday. “It definitely doesn’t hurt.”

Price (4-2) struck out nine while throwing 70 of 106 pitches for strikes in his eighth start since missing the season’s first seven weeks with an elbow strain. The lefty departed after his second walk started the seventh.

“He had all of his pitches working,” Farrell said. “He was able to get quite a few number of swing-and-misses.”

Adrian Beltre has 2,974 career hits after a three-hit night for Texas that included his 600th career double . Mike Napoli went deep for the fourth straight game, his 18th homer being a three-run drive in the eighth after the Rangers trailed 11-0, and before Delino DeShields homered to start the Texas ninth.

Napoli also had a deep drive in the fourth, but Benintendi ran a long way, leaped and extended his glove to make the catch before hitting the padded left-field wall while still in the air.

Darvish, selected Sunday to his fourth AL All-Star team, struck out four with no walks while his season ERA rose from 3.11 to 3.56 over 4 1/3 innings.

“All the bloopers and then all the ground balls that I thought I’d get an out found a hole and that became a hit. I think momentum went their way,” Darvish said through a translator. “The home run and the double I gave up (to Benintendi), I just didn’t locate my pitches.”

 

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