3 Homers in 1 Inning Lead to Rangers Win

David Murphy and Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered on consecutive pitches, in the same inning Michael Young led off with a long ball, and the Texas Rangers beat the suddenly slumping Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Monday night.

The Red Sox have lost three straight, the latest loss allowing the New York Yankees to tie them for the AL East lead. Boston has scored only six runs in those losses.

Texas trailed 2-1 when Kevin Millwood (9-7) threw his last pitch to end the top of the sixth. But the Rangers hit three homers off John Smoltz (1-3) in the bottom of the inning.

Smoltz, the 42-year-old right-hander making only his fifth start since shoulder surgery last summer, hadn't allowed a home run in 25 innings this season until Young's leadoff homer tied the game 2-2.

Murphy put Texas ahead to stay with his two-run shot that prompted pitching coach John Farrell to visit the mound. Saltalamacchia hit the next pitch on the grassy hill in straightaway center and Smoltz was done.

Smoltz hadn't allowed three homers in a game since June 8, 1997, while pitching for Atlanta at San Francisco. It was only the second time in his 21-year career to give up three homers in an inning.

Millwood, Smoltz's teammate in Atlanta from 1997-2002, allowed two runs over six innings to win his sixth straight decision over his last nine home starts. Before an extended All-Star break, Millwood had given up 17 runs in 17 1-3 innings in his first three July starts.

C.J. Wilson got the final four outs for his eighth save in 10 chances. Wilson was in the closer role for Frank Francisco, put on the disabled list Monday for the third time this season, this time because he is unavailable with a slight case of pneumonia.

Smoltz struck out five with no walks in his 5 2-3 innings.

Hank Blalock had two run-scoring hits for the Rangers, who moved within 2½ games of the Los Angeles Angels after the AL West leaders were rained out Monday night in Kansas City.

After Young led off the fourth with a double, he scored on Blalock's two-out double. Blalock had an RBI single in the sixth before coming home on Murphy's homer.

Boston led 2-0 in the fourth after Jason Varitek hit a two-out RBI double that sent J.D. Drew home, though Mike Lowell was thrown out trying to score on the play.

David Ortiz had an RBI double off the center-field wall in the first. Kevin Youkilis had an RBI single in the eighth to plate Jacoby Ellsbury, who was in scoring position after his 41st stolen base -- the 100th of his career.

NOTES: Smoltz allowed four homers in the first inning June 19, 1994 vs. Cincinnati. ... The only other three-game losing streak for the Red Sox was April 12-14. ... Millwood is 7-1 with a 2.53 ERA in 11 starts at Rangers Ballpark this season. ... Ellsbury has six stolen bases his last eight games. Tris Speaker (1912-14) is the only other Boston player with multiple 40-stolen base seasons.

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