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Peter Abraham | On Baseball

Sox enjoy normalcy of a road crowd, but suffer loss to Rangers

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, left front, comes to take the ball from starting pitcher Martin Perez, center front, as, from left rear to right, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, Marwin Gonzalez, Bobby Dalbec and Christian Vazquez, right front, stand on the mound in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, on Thursday.Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas — Hello from Texas, where the pandemic has been called off.

The Rangers are allowed to sell as many tickets as they want at year-old Globe Life Field, which holds 40,300 fans. A crowd of 23,640 turned out Thursday night with the first-place Red Sox in town.

That was more than twice as many fans as the Sox had played in front of this season.

The rebuilding Rangers had lost five of six and drew only 17,875 against the Angels on Wednesday. The Red Sox were a better attraction than Mike Trout, even against the first round of the NFL Draft.


With ear-splitting indoor fireworks accompanying two home runs, the Rangers beat the Red Sox, 4-1.

Martín Pérez, who pitched well but was a victim of poor defense, tries to tune out the fans when he pitches. But after starting 12 games last season to the sound of canned crowd noise with those creepy cardboard cutouts in the seats, he appreciated the atmosphere.

“It was nice after the [first] inning to look around and see all the fans, and especially the Rangers fans,” said Pérez, who was signed by Texas out of Venezuela 14 years ago and pitched at Globe Life Park across the street from 2012-18.

“They’re amazing fans. It was fun to go out there and see the kids enjoying the game and watching us play baseball again. It’s really good for us.”

Pérez felt last season was “kind of weird” with the empty ballparks.

“To come here and look around and see all the fans, it feels pretty good,” he said. “Hopefully back in Boston we can have more people come in to watch us play games.”

It was a temperate 64 degrees outside when the game started but the retractable roof was closed.


There are numerous signs around the ballpark urging folks to wear a mask, but only a small percentage complied. As the second inning got started, there were more people wearing masks in the Red Sox dugout than in the 10 rows behind it.

Sox manager Alex Cora, who said Wednesday he was curious to see what the atmosphere would be like, was the target of some boos when he was introduced before the game.

Rangers fans don’t much like the Astros — or apparently their sign-stealing former bench coach, either.

It was the first time Cora has been booed on the road this season but surely not the last. The Sox play the Yankees in New York for the first time on June 4. Teams in New York will be allowed to have at least 33 percent of capacity by then, which means about 18,000 in the Bronx. They won’t need much of an excuse to boo the Sox.

Then again, they may be too busy with Aaron Boone given how the Yankees have been playing.

Cora, once a candidate to manage the Rangers, was eager to get a look at the new park. The crowd wasn’t as much of a factor for him because he was serving his suspension last season.

“It was a great atmosphere. This is a great facility,” Cora said. “Their fans, they’re always into the game. Besides the result, it was a fun night to see so many fans.

“It gives you a taste. If we keep doing things the right way as a society — hopefully sooner rather than later — everybody can do that and we can have fun at the ballpark.”


The crowd didn’t have anything else to get excited about until the fourth inning when slumping Joey Gallo doubled down the line in left field.

Alex Verdugo picked the ball up and casually flipped it to the infield. The ball evaded Rafael Devers and rolled across the mound. Gallo took third on the error and scored on a sacrifice fly.

Xander Bogaerts booted a routine grounder in the sixth inning, which proved costly when Jose Trevino homered off Hirokazu Sawamura.

Sawamura gave up another homer in the seventh inning when Isiah Kiner-Falefa crushed a poorly located fastball.

After a two-game sweep of the Mets, the Sox looked a little tired. They’ve scored only four runs in the last three games and won’t have J.D. Martinez on Friday. He missed his final at-bat Thursday with a migraine.

The Rangers are expecting good crowds over the weekend. Here in Texas, it’s a normal day at the park.

Peter Abraham can be reached at peter.abraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.

Peter Abraham can be reached at peter.abraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.