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Arlington, TX- They say that your team is only as good as your starting pitcher. While that doesn't always ring true, it has for the last two nights in Texas. Yu Darvish came within one out of a no hitter against the Red Sox last night, but Boston didn't suffer any hangover as their bats went to work early and often on starter Martin Perez. Jon Lester went seven strong to keep hitters off balanced most of the night, and his eight strikeouts kept men off the bases and off the scoreboard. Here are the four at bats that changed the game:

1) Top of the third inning, and it's very evident that starter Martin Perez doesn't have good stuff. The Red Sox scored a run in the second inning, but they know they need more because Texas can flat out hit. Perez wants to start the inning with a strike on David Ortiz, but Papi isn't fooled, and the first pitch he sees goes deep into the right field porch to double the lead to 2-0 Red Sox.

2) In the top of the forth inning, Boston strings together a bunch of hits to add to their lead. Jackie Bradley hits a line drive through the hole between first and second, and then Dustin Pedroia follows up with a soft bloop single to center. On the throw to third, Pedey legs it to second. The gambles pays off as Shane Victorino does some more damage with his soft single to right field that scores both runners and brings the Sox lead to 4-0. Later in the inning, Papi doubles and Johnny Gomes singles Ortiz and Victorino home to run the lead to 6-0. The fourth inning beat down chases Perez out of the game.

3) With Boston's big lead, starter Jon Lester can breathe a bit. Unfortunately, he seems a bit too relaxed in the bottom of the fourth, as the first pitch he throws to Shin-Soo Choo is crushed over Bradley's head for a double. He would later score on a sacrifice fly from Prince Fielder. Lester also walks Adrian Beltre on four straight pitches, and would work the count to 3-1 on Alex Rios before his cutter is cracked into deep center field to score Beltre. 6-2 Red Sox.

4) Top of the eight inning, and again the Boston bats wear down the Texas bullpen. Justin Germano hits Will Middlebrooks on the finger with a pitch, and then Bradley again finds the hole between first and second to put two men on. Dustin Pedroia swings at a Germano curve and deposits it into left field to score Middlebrooks. With the seventh run in, you can feel any chance that Texas had in mounting a comeback jump out the window, as the Sox came to play tonight. They would add another run in the inning on a Victorino sacrifice fly, and Boston now leads 8-3.

Sunday at 3:05pm, John Lackey faces Robbie Ross in the third game of the series.
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Peter Lepak 5/10/2014 11:19:00 PM Edit
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