ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 29: C.J. Wilson #36 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Oakland Athletics on July 29, 2010 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** C.J. Wilson
C.J. Wilson rebounded with 7 2-3 strong innings and the AL West-leading Texas Rangers used small ball to go ahead before Michael Young's big hit in a 7-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on a steamy Sunday afternoon.
Young hit a three-run homer in the seventh on the first pitch thrown by reliever Manny Delcarmen to make it 5-0.
Wilson (11-5) limited the Red Sox to one run and four hits while striking out eight with one walk. The left-hander exited with a 5-0 lead and a runner at first after throwing 75 of his 113 pitches for strikes and the thermometer at Rangers Ballpark reading 103 degrees.
While Wilson has now won a career-best four consecutive decisions since mid-July, he was coming off back-to-back starts when he didn't make it past the sixth inning and got no-decisions in games the Rangers won -- one when he lasted only a season-low three innings.
Texas went ahead to stay in the second against Daisuke Matsuzaka (8-4) when Jorge Cantu singled, advanced on a walk and sacrifice bunt before scoring on Andres Blanco's sacrifice fly.
Rookie Mitch Moreland led off the seventh with a single before Taylor Teagarden had his second sac bunt of the game. After a groundout, Moreland scored on Julio Borbon's two-out bunt single. Elvis Andrus' single chased Dice-K, leaving two on for Young.
Matsuzaka struck out eight and walked two in 6 2-3 innings, losing for the first time in eight starts since June 30. But the right-hander got his 500th career strikeout in his 91st career game, that coming when Blanco struck out swinging to start the fifth.
The only Red Sox pitcher since 1920 to reach 500 strikeouts in less time was Roger Clemens, who got his 500th in his 79th game. Only two AL pitchers since 1995 have reached that plateau quicker than Dice-K, Scott Kazmir in his 84th game and Felix Hernandez in his 87th game.
After Pedro Strop took over for Wilson, Marco Scutaro had an RBI double to left and Darnell McDonald homered just over the right-field wall to make it 5-3. Strop got out of the jam when Victor Martinez took a called third strike, his third strikeout of the game.
Neftali Feliz worked the ninth even though it wasn't a save situation after Texas added two runs in the eighth -- on RBI singles by Blanco and Borbon.
The 22-year-old All-Star rookie closer hasn't had a save since July 31 and is still one shy of becoming the youngest pitcher ever with a 30-save season.
Young's 19th homer, a 419-foot shot to left-center, landed close to where new owner Chuck Greenberg had been only minutes earlier mingling with fans.
Notes: Red Sox C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who had a game-winning hit for the Rangers in the season opener, made his second start for Boston since being traded from Texas on July 31. Salty was 0 for 3 with a walk. ... The Rangers say they plan Monday to sign OF Willy Taveras to a minor league contract. ... The game-time temperature was actually only 99 degrees. ... With an announced crowd of 30,252, the Rangers' streak of three consecutive sellouts (all night games) ended. They hadn't had three straight sellout since July 2004.