Hinske, Pedroia help Red Sox snap out of scoring drought

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BOSTON (AP) – Eric Hinske had a bases-loaded triple and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double as Boston’s bats came alive in a 7-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.

Boston salvaged a split of the four-game series after scoring seven runs in the first three games against Texas, which has the second-worst ERA in the major leagues. Coming into the series, the Red Sox had been swept in a three-game series at Seattle.

Kason Gabbard (2-0), making his second start in Curt Schilling’s spot, held the Rangers hitless for 4 1-3 innings before Gerald Laird singled through the shortstop hole. Gabbard allowed three runs, three hits and four walks in 5 2-3 innings, striking out five.

Mike Timlin, Javier Lopez, Kyle Snyder and Hideki Okajima combined for two-hit relief.

Julio Lugo, back in the lineup after being benched the previous three games, went 0-for-2 with two walks and is hitless his last 33 at-bats, dropping his average to .189. The crowd chanted “Let’s Go Lugo!” when he came to bat with the bases loaded in the seventh before turning the cheers to boos when he grounded out.

Brad Wilkerson hit a three-run homer for Texas, which went 4-3 on its trip, the Rangers’ first winning road trip since July 13-23 last year (6-5).

Brandon McCarthy (4-5) gave up four runs, six hits and three walks over 3 2-3 innings in his first appearance since June 9. McCarthy, activated earlier in the day, had been on the disabled list because of a blister on his right middle finger

Boston scored just eight runs and hit only .119 with runners in scoring position in losing three of its previous four games. It was more of the same at the start Monday, with Manny Ramirez bouncing into an inning-ending double play in the first.

Pedroia hit a two-run double in the third and scored when Ramirez doubled off the center-field wall for a 3-0 lead. Boston could have had more, right fielder Marlon Byrd ended the inning with a diving catch on Mike Lowell’s liner to end the inning.

Jacob Ellsbury increased the lead to 4-0 in the fourth when he singled, stole second and scored from second on a wild pitch that bounced off catcher Gerald Laird and rolled near the Rangers’ dugout.

Wilkerson’s homer in the fifth cut the lead to 4-3.

Hinske, a late lineup addition after Kevin Youkilis was scratched with a tight left quadriceps, tripled over center fielder Kenny Lofton in the bottom half.

Notes: Schilling is on the disabled list because of shoulder tendinitis. He played catch and is expected to do that “several more times” in the next week or so, the club announced. … Rangers INF Jerry Hairston Jr. was removed from the starting lineup just before game time because of a sore left knee. … Ray Allen, acquired by the Boston Celtics from Seattle last Thursday, threw an impressive ceremonial first pitch with decent movement to CF Coco Crisp. It didn’t seem to bother Crisp, who missed his fourth straight game due to a sore thumb on his catching hand. “I think he was surprised a little bit,” Allen said with a smile. “I don’t know if he thought I had something on it or I turned the ball over. I played baseball.”

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