BOSTON (AP) — Bengie Molina hit for the cycle with a grand slam and triple in his last two at-bats and the Texas Rangers came up with another big inning against Boston pitching to beat the Red Sox 8-4 on Friday night.
Molina's slam came in a five-run fifth inning and gave Texas a 7-3 lead. One night earlier, he capped a six-run first inning with a two-run homer and the Rangers went on to a 7-2 win.
The slow-footed catcher, obtained from the San Francisco Giants on July 1 to shore up a team weakness, lumbered into third base with a leadoff drive over the head of center fielder Eric Patterson and smiled at teammates in the dugout. A few pitches later, he left the game with tightness in his right quadriceps and was replaced by pinch-runner Joaquin Arias.
Arias scored the final run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Michael Young.
Molina is the fifth player in Rangers history to hit for the cycle and the first since Kinsler on April 15, 2009. The triple was Molina's first since April 29, 2009. The last visitor to hit for the cycle at Fenway Park was Cleveland's Andre Thornton on April 2, 1978.
The AL West-leading Rangers lost their last four games before the All-Star break but returned to take the first two of a four-game series against the Red Sox, who have lost seven of nine as injuries severely weakened their lineup.
Catchers Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek, second baseman Dustin Pedroia and outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Jeremy Hermida all are sidelined. Right-handed starter Clay Buchholz made a rehab start for Pawtucket on Friday night and Josh Beckett is scheduled to do the same on Saturday night.
Texas got off to a fast start again Friday with two runs in the first off Felix Doubrount (1-2). Leadoff hitter Elvis Andrus reached second on a two-base throwing error by the pitcher and scored on Ian Kinsler's single. Nelson Cruz singled in Kinsler.
Boston tied it in the second against Colby Lewis (9-5). Kevin Youkilis doubled and scored on J.D. Drew's single. Drew took third on a single by Adrian Beltre and scored on a wild pitch.
The game was delayed by rain for one hour after the third inning, then the Rangers went ahead to stay in the fifth.
Young singled, took second on a wild pitch and stayed there on an infield single by Vladimir Guerrero. Doubrount then caught a hard liner from Josh Hamilton, but threw wildly to second trying for a double play and the runners moved to second and third. Doubrount was replaced by Fernando Cabrera, who was called up from the minors on Friday.
Cabrera walked Cruz and David Murphy, forcing in a run, then got ahead of Molina with an 0-2 count. After a ball, Molina homered to center, his fifth of the season and second with Texas.
Boston cut the lead to 7-4 in the sixth on Drew's sacrifice fly.
Notes: The Red Sox called up Cabrera from Pawtucket and optioned RHP Robert Manuel to the International League team. ... Kinsler extended his hitting streak to nine games. ... Both teams began the day with 51-38 records, but Boston was in third place in the AL East.