ARLINGTON, Texas — The Red Sox clubhouse was unusually quiet on Friday night after the team barely dodged being no-hit by Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers.
After acknowledging how well Darvish pitched, Dustin Pedroia said it was incumbent on the Sox not to dwell on the game, demoralizing as it was.
A day later and against a far different pitcher, the Red Sox had 11 hits and beat the Rangers, 8-3, before a sellout crowd of 47,964.
“You play so many games, there’s times you’re going to run into a guy who’s on his game,” Pedroia said. “That happens. It was a good game for us tonight.”
Pedroia helped the turnaround by getting on base four times, scoring one run, and driving in another. He also made several good plays at second base in support of Jon Lester, who pitched seven strong innings.
Shane Victorino, the hitter behind Pedroia in the lineup, was 3 for 4 with a sacrifice fly and drove in four runs. David Ortiz, who broke up the no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning on Friday, doubled and homered.
Two slumping young players, Will Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley Jr., were 3 for 6 and scored four runs at the bottom of the order. The Sox were up, 6-0, by the fourth inning against Texas starter Martin Perez.
The Sox were even 4 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
Catcher David Ross said having an experienced roster allowed the Sox to return to Globe Life Park in a better frame of mind.
“We really just take it as a loss. At the end of the day, we’re more upset that we weren’t in the game at all rather than no-hit,” he said. “Nobody let it linger.”
Manager John Farrell expected that.
“We’ve seen it a number of times. What happens yesterday stays there,” he said.
The Sox have won five of their last seven games. Now 18-18, they can take the series with a win on Sunday and get over .500 for the first time since April 3. John Lackey will face lefthander Robbie Ross.
Lester (4-4) allowed three runs on four hits over seven innings. He struck out eight and walked three, beating Texas for the first time in six starts going back to 2010.
The early lead helped Lester persevere on a night when he didn’t have his best stuff.
“Any time these guys can get some runs, especially early, as pitchers it relaxes you and you’re able to attack guys a little bit more,” he said.
“I don’t think anybody in here expected less. That’s what we did last year. That’s what we’re going to continue to do. We’re going to keep grinding out at-bats, grinding out pitches on the mound. We forgot about last night as soon as we woke up this morning.”
The Red Sox put five runners on base in the second inning against Perez but scored only one run thanks to some overaggressive base running.
Ross drew a walk with one out and was thrown out stealing on the first pitch thrown to Middlebrooks. Ross has only two career stolen bases but was out on what Farrell called a “sneak attack” against a pitcher slow to the plate.
Middlebrooks singled before Bradley was hit by a pitch and Pedroia walked to load the bases. Victorino came through with a single to shallow center field, scoring Middlebrooks. Bradley was sent to the plate and was thrown out by Leonys Martin, who played the ball on one hop and made a strong throw. The inning ended with Ortiz on deck.
The run snapped a streak of 24 scoreless innings by the Texas pitching staff.
When Ortiz came to the plate to start the third inning, Perez’s first pitch was a fastball down the middle. Ortiz did what he often does with such pitches and sent it into the stands in right field for his seventh home run.
The shot gave Ortiz 380 home runs with the Red Sox, putting him fourth in franchise history. He needs three to pass Jim Rice. It also was career home run No. 438 for Ortiz, tying him with Andre Dawson and Jason Giambi for 40th all time.
“That means I’m getting old,” Ortiz said. “Last thing I’m thinking about is being mentioned with those guys. But when it happens, it’s an honor.”
The home run was Ortiz’s 100th off a lefthander, and Perez became the 300th pitcher to allow a homer by Big Papi.
The Sox added to their lead in the fourth inning as aggressive base running paid off.
Bradley singled with one out and alertly went to third when Pedroia dropped a bloop single into center field.
When Martin threw to third base, Pedroia went to second.
With the infield in, Victorino dropped a single into right field to score two runs.
Ortiz doubled down the line in right field, pushing Victorino to third. Mike Napoli struck out but Jonny Gomes lined a two-run single to left field and the Red Sox had a 6-0 lead.
Lester to that point had retired all nine batters he had faced on 37 pitches. But Texas scored two runs on two hits in the fourth inning and another in the third.
Lester retired seven of the final eight batters he faced. Pedroia and Victorino drove in runs in the eighth inning against former Red Sox pitcher Justin Germano.
“We did a lot of good things,” Pedroia said. “We didn’t really have much of an opportunity to [Friday night]. We’ve got to build on this.”