BOSTON (AP) – Tony Graffanino had three hits and showed rare power with a three-run homer that sparked the Boston Red Sox to an 11-6 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday night in a game between baseball’s two highest-scoring teams.

David Ortiz hit his 26th homer, but Boston got unusual contributions from the bottom four spots in its lineup, which combined for nine of the team’s 12 hits.

Graffanino, batting eighth, had the best of his 14 games at second base since being acquired from Kansas City on July 19 to replace the injured Mark Bellhorn. He went 3-for-3 – capped by the homer that made it 8-5 in the fifth – and even was walked intentionally.

He twice slid into the plate to score runs – once from third on a wild pitch in the fourth that gave Boston a 5-4 lead and once from second in the three-run seventh on Johnny Damon’s infield single.

Graffanino drove in four runs and is batting .333 for Boston. He hit his fourth homer of the year and first for the Red Sox. Kevin Millar, batting sixth, No. 7 Roberto Petagine and No. 9 Alex Cora each had two hits.

Jeremi Gonzalez (2-1) pitched 2 2-3 scoreless innings in relief of Wade Miller as Boston won for the 10th time in 12 games. Steve Karsay (0-1) allowed four runs in two innings in his second appearance for Texas.

Boston entered the game with a major league-leading 609 runs, and Texas had 608.

After a wild first inning that ended with Boston ahead 4-3, the pitching improved and Texas tied the game at 5 in the fifth on Rod Barajas’ RBI single.

The Rangers’ first four batters of the game reached base. Boston answered by sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring four runs in the bottom half. Starter Ricardo Rodriguez faced the first nine and was replaced by James Baldwin.

Texas tied it in the second with an unearned run. With two outs and runners at first and third, first baseman Petagine let Mark Teixeira’s grounder through his legs, allowing Gary Matthews Jr. to score.

Graffanino played a key role in giving the Red Sox the lead again in the fourth against Baldwin, who had retired all seven batters he faced to that point. Graffanino and Cora singled with no outs and Ortiz walked, loading the bases.

Baldwin then threw a wild pitch and Graffanino slid in ahead of the tag, putting Boston ahead 5-4.

The Red Sox made it 11-5 in the seventh and the Rangers scored their last run on Blalock’s sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Notes: Boston 3B Bill Mueller was a late scratch from the lineup with back spasms. Cora, scheduled to start at shortstop, moved to third and Renteria, slated for a rare day off, started at shortstop. … Through the first five innings, each team had 10 hits. … Texas left at least one runner on base in each inning. … Damon has hit safely in 46 of 48 games.

AP-ES-08-08-05 2237EDT


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