Published August 15, 2010
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Texas Rangers chased Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka in the seventh inning then tacked on late runs to defeat the Boston Red Sox 7-3 on Sunday.
Matsuzaka struck out eight batters and exited trailing 2-0 with two outs in the seventh. But Rangers infielder Michael Young broke the game open with a three-run homer against Boston reliever Manny Delcarmen.
Darnell McDonald hit a two-run homer in the top of the eighth in which the Red Sox (67-52) scored three times to pull within 5-3 but Texas added two runs in the bottom half of the inning to seal the win.
Despite temperatures exceeding 100 degrees in Arlington, starter C.J. Wilson struck out eight and allowed just one run in 7 2/3 innings to improve to 11-5 for the AL West-leading Rangers (67-49).
"C.J. was excellent," Texas manager Ron Washington told reporters. "He pounded the strike zone, kept the ball in play and weathered the heat."
Wilson is enjoying his first season as a starter, having been converted from a relief pitcher, and leads Texas in wins while helping the team build an eight-game lead in the division.
The Rangers gave the left-hander a 1-0 lead in the second where Andres Blanco hit a sacrifice-fly before adding a second RBI in the eighth. Texas outfielder Julio Borbon finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Matsuzaka, who has had an up and down year marked by multiple trips to the disabled list, lost for the first time since June 30.
"At the beginning of the game, my fastball and my cutter weren't working at all -- they were probably at their worst all season," Matsuzaka said. "But I noticed that my slider had a good break (so I threw it more)."
Meanwhile, the Red Sox fell six games behind leaders, the New York Yankees, in the AL East.
(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Ian Ransom)