David Ortiz launched a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 6-3 win over the Texas Rangers in the rubber match of a three-game series at Fenway Park.
Jonny Gomes doubled off Michael Kirkman (0-2) to begin the home ninth. After Dustin Pedroia was intentionally walked, Ortiz drove the first pitch he saw from Kirkman to right field.
"He's got a niche for it," said Gomes about Ortiz's knack for getting the big home run. "He has the ability to get the job done."
Gomes and a returning Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston's No. 1 and 2 hitters, each finished 4-for-5. Ellsbury had missed the previous five games with a tight left groin.
Ortiz's 11th home run of the season made a winner out of Andrew Bailey (2-0), who retired three batters in a row after giving up a leadoff single to Jurickson Profar in the top of the ninth.
Boston had plenty of traffic on the base paths against Texas starter Derek Holland and the relief corps, but hits were elusive as the club finished just 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
"He wasn't at his best, but he found a way to hold the lead and keep us in the ball game," said Texas manager Ron Washington. "That's just the maturity of Derek Holland."
The Red Sox erased a 3-0 deficit and pulled even in the seventh after loading the bases with one out. Jason Frasor, however, couldn't clean up Robbie Ross' mess. He got a ground ball from Mike Napoli, but the Rangers failed to turn a double play. Ellsbury scored on the play after opening the frame with a double.
Jon Lester started for Boston and surrendered a two-run homer to Jeff Baker in the second before Adrian Beltre took him deep in the next inning.
The Red Sox got on the board in the bottom of the third when Pedroia delivered a two-out, two-run double off the center-field wall.
The fifth inning looked promising for Boston, which saw its first two batters reach base. Ellsbury hit a ground-rule double and Gomes followed with a single, but the threat was shut down. Holland escaped with help from Texas first baseman Lance Berkman, who picked a Pedroia chopper and threw Ellsbury out at home. Ortiz then grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Lester gave up seven hits and walked three over six innings in his 200th career start. He became the third Red Sox left-hander to make 200 career starts, joining Mel Parnell (232) and Bruce Hurst (217) ... Boston notched its first series victory at home against Texas since April 20-22, 2010 ... The Rangers lost their first road series of more than two games this year (5-1-2) ... Beltre extended his hitting streak to 11 games, while Pedroia has now hit safely in 10 straight games ... Holland allowed two runs on nine hits in six frames. He had won five consecutive starts against Boston ... Texas was 2- for-12 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base ... The Rangers placed first baseman Mitch Moreland on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring and purchased the contract of first baseman Chris McGuiness from Triple-A Round Rock. To make room for McGuiness on the 40-man roster, the Rangers transferred pitcher Colby Lewis (elbow) to the 60-day DL.