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BOS@TEX: Napoli cranks a solo home run in the fourth

ARLINGTON -- Rangers starter Matt Harrison was quite succinct in summing up his outing on Wednesday night.

"A terrible night. ... A terrible performance," Harrison said. "I've got to get better."

The Rangers are still expecting that to be the case. But one day after Harrison said he has been feeling "tired" over the past couple of weeks, he went out and gave up four runs in the first inning. That put the Rangers in another big hole for the second straight night and they lost to the Red Sox, 13-2, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The loss was the Rangers' second straight to the Red Sox and their pitchers have allowed 24 runs on 30 hits in those two games. The Rangers have also lost five of their last seven games.

"If you play a team like that, you've got to match their pitching," manager Ron Washington said. "If you don't, the game will get away from you, and it got away from us tonight."

The Rangers trailed, 4-0, before Red Sox starter Josh Beckett got on the mound. They were down, 6-0, before they got their first hit and only run off Beckett in the fourth on a home run by Mike Napoli. They didn't score again until the eighth, when the game was out of hand.

"We didn't swing it very well," third baseman Michael Young said. "Obviously Beckett threw the ball extremely well. ... It was their night all the way around. Obviously we didn't play our style of baseball tonight or yesterday. We have to make some quick adjustments and find a way to come out and play better."

Harrison said his biggest problem was that he had no life on his fastball. The southpaw suggested it felt listless coming out of his hand, and it was registering 87-90 mph on the radar gun.

"Usually it's sitting in the 90s," Harrison said. "I don't know how to explain it."

The obvious suggestion is fatigue in late August. He has now thrown 153 innings, which almost equals the combined total of his last two years. But Harrison said he felt "great" and "energized" going into Wednesday's start.

"It's definitely not fatigue," Harrison said. "I felt great. I made some bad pitches and that lineup is not going to miss pitches and miss mistakes. Maybe it was just one of those games; I don't know how to explain it."

Harrison went five innings and allowed seven runs on 11 hits with a walk and four strikeouts, dropping his record to 10-9 with a 3.59 ERA. Harrison has an 8.59 ERA in his last three starts and is 1-2 with a 6.51 ERA in five August starts.

Washington said he doesn't think Harrison's problem is fatigue either.

"He's been struggling trying to keep the ball in the strike zone," Washington said. "You go through it. He's been doing a good job. He may have hit a rough spot, but he's healthy and we're going to keep giving him the ball."

The first inning was strange. The game-time temperature was 104 degrees, but that changed quickly. The winds picked up all of a sudden and started coming in hard from the north. The temperature also dropped dramatically from 104 to 86 in a matter of minutes. Harrison had to fight through all that as he went up against the Red Sox.

"It was strange, but it didn't affect me," Harrison said.

The Red Sox didn't start off hitting Harrison hard. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with an infield single by beating out a slow grounder to second baseman Omar Quintanilla. Harrison struck out Marco Scutaro and Adrian Gonzalez hit a little fly ball that fell into center field for a single.

That put runners on first and second, and Dustin Pedroia gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead by grounding a single through the left side. Then the Sox started hitting the ball hard.

David Ortiz lined a single to right to score Gonzalez with the second run of the inning. Jed Lowrie lined out to short for the second out, giving Harrison a chance to limit the damage, but Carl Crawford followed with a line drive into the right-field corner.

Pedroia scored easily and Ortiz ran past third-base coach Tim Bogar's stop sign. Quintanilla's throw had him beat to the plate, but catcher Mike Napoli fumbled it on the second hop, allowing Ortiz to score.

"They threw together some good at-bats," Young said. "They struck early, and they got some runs on the board pretty quickly. Any time Harry's on the mound, we feel confident. He's had a great year for us, so we look forward to the next start."

After Harrison left, the Red Sox continued to inflict damage with a barrage of two-run home runs against the Rangers' bullpen. Ellsbury hit one off Yoshinori Tateyama in the sixth, while Ellsbury hit one in the seventh and Gonzalez did so in the eighth against Darren O'Day.

"We got four early and we kept at it," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Against that team, that's good. Again, Beckett pitched great, but you want to keep after them, because their lineup is so potent and so dangerous. We did a really good job tonight offensively." Comments