ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The long ball keeps haunting Texas starter Colby Lewis.
Lewis gave up a pair of home runs to Adrian Gonzalez and the Boston Red Sox finally won a game at Rangers Ballpark, 11-5 over the AL West leaders on Tuesday night.
The Red Sox built an early 6-0 lead and scored seven runs off Lewis (11-9), who has been tagged for an AL-high 30 homers this season.
``I've never given up a home run that wasn't a strike. It's just throwing strikes,' Lewis said. ``I think it's just one of those things, that it goes along with the territory of throwing strikes. I'm not really worried about it.'
Lewis had allowed only two homers in his previous four August starts, but it was the ninth time this season he gave up multiple home runs. The Rangers have lost six of those games.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with a single, stole second base and scored when Gonzalez pulled a shot into the second deck of seats in right field to put the Red Sox ahead to stay.
Gonzalez, the majors' leading hitting at .346, had homered only once in 155 at_bats over his previous 39 games. He added a 402-foot shot to left-center in the fourth.
``That's always a good sign,' Red Sox manager Terry Francona said of the opposite-field drive.
That solo shot gave Boston a 7-3 lead. It was the 20th homer of the season for Gonzalez, and his 12th career multihomer game.
Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler both hit solo homers for Texas, which lost for the fourth time in six games.
Texas has two more games in its potential playoff preview against the Red Sox before the Los Angeles Angels, second in the AL West, come to town this weekend.
Boston scored twice in each of the first three innings.
``(Lewis) threw a lot of strikes tonight, they didn't miss. It wasn't like he was all over the place trying to find the strike zone,' Rangers manager Ron Washington said. ``They came out in the first four innings and attacked and put seven runs on the board. We just couldn't recover.'
Texas native John Lackey (12-9) pitched 6 2-3 innings for his seventh win in his last eight starts.
Lewis allowed seven runs and nine hits, but managed to get through six innings to save the Rangers bullpen.
``He's a veteran and got us into the sixth,' Washington said. ``Sometimes you've just got to take a beating.'
After three consecutive singles to start the Rangers fourth, Elvis Andrus drew a bases-loaded walk before Hamilton and Michael Young had consecutive sacrifice flies. Hamilton pulled a solo homer into the right-field seats in the fifth.
It was Hamilton's 17th homer, and Kinsler hit his 21st in the ninth.
Boston (78-50), which had lost its first four games at Rangers Ballpark this season, moved within two percentage points of first-place New York in the AL East. The Yankees lost to Oakland.
Texas won the series opener 4-0 when the Red Sox were limited to four singles Monday night.
Boston, which finished with 14 hits Tuesday, had already matched its total from the opener when Jed Lowrie and Carl Crawford had consecutive singles to start the second. Jarrod Saltalamacchia had an RBI double and Marco Scutaro a sacrifice fly in the inning for a 4-0 lead.
Scutaro and Dustin Pedroia added two-run doubles off the left-field wall in the eighth against reliever Mark Lowe. Scutaro's ball ricocheted off the very top of the 14-foot wall and umpires looked at replays to confirm their ruling of the ball being in play after Francona questioned the call.
Lackey has never particularly enjoyed pitching on the road against the Rangers. He entered with a 6-6 record and a 6.78 ERA in 17 career starts at Texas. That included nine runs in 3 2-3 innings in the season-opening series, when the Red Sox were swept in three games on the way to an 0-6 start.
This time, the big right-hander won and made a nifty play to start an inning-ending double play in the sixth.
Lackey fell down in front of the mound after grabbing Yorvit Torrealba's comebacker. From his knee, Lackey turned and threw to second baseman Pedroia. The pitcher emphatically pumped his fist when the double play was completed.
NOTES: The Red Sox have hit a major league-leading 86 homers on the road. ... Texas still has the best home record in the AL at 40-24. ... In the fifth before his home run, Hamilton also had a highlight defensive play. He made a sliding catch on the gravel in foul territory down the left-field line on Josh Reddick's foul pop. ... Matt Harrison pitches for Texas and Josh Beckett starts for Boston in a matchup of 10-game winners Wednesday.
The Associated Press News Service
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