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Boston Red Sox

Red Sox back above .500 with 5-2 win at Rangers

  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey works against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey works against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia tightens his batting gloves styled in pink during his at-bat against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. Major League Baseball was using pink in honor of Mother's Day and Breast Cancer Awareness. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia tightens his batting gloves styled in pink during his at-bat against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. Major League Baseball was using pink in honor of Mother's Day and Breast Cancer Awareness. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Fans watch as Boston Red Sox' Mike Napoli grabs a pop-out down the first base line by Texas Rangers' Adrian Beltre in the sixth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Fans watch as Boston Red Sox' Mike Napoli grabs a pop-out down the first base line by Texas Rangers' Adrian Beltre in the sixth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Boston Red Sox's Mike Napoli (12) follows through on a run-scoring double to right off a pitch from Texas Rangers' Robbie Ross that scored Dustin Pedroia in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Boston Red Sox's Mike Napoli (12) follows through on a run-scoring double to right off a pitch from Texas Rangers' Robbie Ross that scored Dustin Pedroia in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Texas Rangers' Robbie Ross works against the Boston Red Sox in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Texas Rangers' Robbie Ross works against the Boston Red Sox in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Texas Rangers' J.P. Arencibia, back left, kneels by the plate as Boston Red Sox's Mike Napoli, front left, and David Ortiz (34) score on an A.J. Pierzynski single to right in the first inning of a baseball game onSunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Texas Rangers' J.P. Arencibia, back left, kneels by the plate as Boston Red Sox's Mike Napoli, front left, and David Ortiz (34) score on an A.J. Pierzynski single to right in the first inning of a baseball game onSunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey works against the Texas Rangers in the fifth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey works against the Texas Rangers in the fifth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia (15) is congratulated at the top of the dugout by manager John Farrell, left,catcher A.J. Pierzynski and Mike Napoli, second from right, following his solo home run off Texas Rangers' Robbie Ross in the seventh inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia (15) is congratulated at the top of the dugout by manager John Farrell, left,catcher A.J. Pierzynski and Mike Napoli, second from right, following his solo home run off Texas Rangers' Robbie Ross in the seventh inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Fans watch as Boston Red Sox' Mike Napoli grabs a pop-out down the first base line by Texas Rangers' Adrian Beltre in the sixth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Fans watch as Boston Red Sox' Mike Napoli grabs a pop-out down the first base line by Texas Rangers' Adrian Beltre in the sixth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey works against the Texas Rangers in the fifth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey works against the Texas Rangers in the fifth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey works against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia tightens his batting gloves styled in pink during his at-bat against the Texas Rangers in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. Major League Baseball was using pink in honor of Mother's Day and Breast Cancer Awareness. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Fans watch as Boston Red Sox' Mike Napoli grabs a pop-out down the first base line by Texas Rangers' Adrian Beltre in the sixth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Boston Red Sox's Mike Napoli (12) follows through on a run-scoring double to right off a pitch from Texas Rangers' Robbie Ross that scored Dustin Pedroia in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Texas Rangers' Robbie Ross works against the Boston Red Sox in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Texas Rangers' J.P. Arencibia, back left, kneels by the plate as Boston Red Sox's Mike Napoli, front left, and David Ortiz (34) score on an A.J. Pierzynski single to right in the first inning of a baseball game onSunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey works against the Texas Rangers in the fifth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia (15) is congratulated at the top of the dugout by manager John Farrell, left,catcher A.J. Pierzynski and Mike Napoli, second from right, following his solo home run off Texas Rangers' Robbie Ross in the seventh inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Fans watch as Boston Red Sox' Mike Napoli grabs a pop-out down the first base line by Texas Rangers' Adrian Beltre in the sixth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey works against the Texas Rangers in the fifth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, May 11, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

ARLINGTON, Texas – Boston Red Sox right-hander John Lackey felt right at home, putting on his boots and a wide-brim cowboy hat after another solid outing.

With the Lone Star State native on the mound and a couple of former Rangers catchers getting run-producing hits, the Red Sox got a series-clinching 5-2 victory at Texas yesterday. Boston is above .500 for the first time since three games into the season.

With A.J. Pierzynski and Mike Napoli providing a 3-0 lead before his first pitch, Lackey (5-2) struck out nine while allowing two runs over seven innings. The big right-hander threw 75 of 105 pitches for strikes without any walks.

“It’s nice to go out there when you already have a 3-0 lead,” Lackey said. “It kind of lets you relax a little bit and pound the strike zone.”

A few teammates called out “country boy” and “cowboy” as he stood as his locker after the game. He was headed to his home in nearby Fort Worth, and planned to spend time today – an off day for the Red Sox – at his ranch.

“He threw the ball great,” Pierzynski said. “We jumped on them a little bit early and got some runs. That kind of put it in cruise control.”

Napoli put the Red Sox ahead to stay with an RBI double, two batters before Pierzynski’s two-run single off Robbie Ross (1-4). Both went to Boston as free agents after being in Texas – Pierzynski was the Rangers primary catcher last season, and Napoli was there the previous two years.

Koji Uehara, who also went from Texas to Boston in 2013, worked a perfect ninth for his ninth save in a row.

The Red Sox (19-18) won the last two games in the series after being held to one hit by Yu Darvish Friday night. They have won six of their last eight games, including their last three series, and have a winning record for the first time since winning two of three in the season-opening series at Baltimore.

“It’s probably as much about the series, not so much the overall record,” Manager John Farrell said. “It’s encouraging to see on day three when you’ve got a chance to either sweep or win that rubber game, we’ve been able to put together a very good effort.”

Shin-Soo Choo homered for the Rangers, who have lost 10 of 14 overall and dropped seven of their last nine home games.

Ross made it through 6.2 innings and a career-high 112 pitches, settling down after being down 4-0 after two innings.

“He had a little rough first inning, trying to get the ball where he wanted to. But after that I thought he settled down and pitched well,” Manager Ron Washington said. “I like his recovery.”

Dustin Pedroia’s two-out solo homer in the seventh chased Ross, and was the first Red Sox hit since Jonny Gomes’s one-out single in the third.

Ross faced the minimum 13 batters between that, with the only runner reaching – on an error – being wiped out on a double-play grounder.

It was the second homer for Pedroia, who led off the game with a double before Napoli drove him home.

Lackey made his 20th road start against the Rangers, surpassing Seattle’s Felix Hernandez for the most. Lackey is 14-15 overall with a 5.71 ERA in his career against Texas – those are his most losses and highest ERA against any AL team.

Choo’s fourth homer was an opposite-field shot to left-center in the fourth to make it 4-1. Mitch Moreland had an RBI double in the seventh before Lackey struck out his final two batters with two runners on base.

Notes

∎ Boston is 10-4 against left-handed starters.

∎ Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks was scratched with soreness in his right hand after being hit by a pitch Saturday night. The Red Sox said it was a precautionary move and expect him to be available for their next game tomorrow.

∎ Napoli has reached base in 31 consecutive games.

∎ This is the earliest Boston and Texas have completed a season series, which the Red Sox won, 4-2. The Rangers had won the series each of the previous five seasons.

∎ Texas is 31-18 vs. Boston since 2009.

∎ Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre, shifted toward shortstop, made a back-handed scoop catch after running a long way for David Ortiz’s popup near the foul line to end the second.

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