BOSTON -- Starter Colby Lewis, staked to a three-run lead, couldn't give the Rangers at least five innings until they could get to their best part of the bullpen. Yoshinori Tateyama couldn't get the one batter he needed to keep the game manageable.Instead, the Rangers' pitching imploded in the fourth inning from too many pitches and getting behind one too many hitters, the most costly one being a Red Sox utility infielder who wasn't supposed to be in the game. The result was the Red Sox scored eight runs off Lewis, Tateyama and Merkin Valdez in the fourth inning and went on to a 12-7 victory over the Rangers in a three-hour, 44-minute affair at Fenway Park on Saturday. Six of the eight runs scored after two were out in the inning. "We needed seven batters to get one out," manager Ron Washington said. "When that happens, damage will be done. We just didn't get it done." The big blow of the inning was a grand slam by Carl Crawford off Tateyama. But the real turning point was a two-out RBI single by pinch-hitter Mike Aviles off Tateyama in a matchup that favored the Rangers and could have let them escape the inning with the game still tied. "That was the one we needed right there," Washington said. Lewis, after a leadoff single by Josh Reddick, gave up a game-tying two-run home run in the inning to Jarrod Saltalamacchia. But Lewis was still fuming afterward about not getting a strike-three call on a 2-2 pitch to Saltalamacchia that he thought hit the outside corner. "I had Salty struck out on a 2-2 pitch and didn't get the call," Lewis said. "Then I came in with more of a strike and he hit it out." The Rangers were also hoping Lewis could get them through five innings. But he was in trouble from the beginning, dodging one jam after another, and his pitch count was starting to pile up. He threw 71 pitches in the first three innings. "Command," Washington said. "He couldn't get the ball down. If you keep giving those guys opportunities with runners in scoring position, they'll eventually come through. In the fourth inning, we couldn't stop the bleeding." Lewis, who threw 89 pitches, is 0-2 with a 9.39 ERA in his last three starts and 11-10 with a 4.32 ERA on the season. "He had a bad outing. ... I'm not concerned," Washington said. "He's healthy. He just has to get the ball down." David Murphy had an RBI single in the second, and the Rangers took advantage of Erik Bedard's own control troubles to manufacture two runs in the third. They still led, 3-1, going into the fourth even though Craig Gentry popped into a double play on a fourth-inning squeeze bunt. "We felt good," left fielder Josh Hamilton said. "Everybody was feeling good at that point and contributing to the cause." The Red Sox started their big inning by tying the game on Saltalamacchia's home run. Lewis retired Jacoby Ellsbury on a fly to left before giving up a single to Dustin Pedroia. That's when Washington went to the mound to get Lewis. "I was missing early," Lewis said. "As I went deeper, I felt my stuff was coming together in the third and fourth innings. I was throwing a lot better, but not everybody felt that way. It's disappointing that's for sure." Tateyama walked Adrian Gonzalez, got Kevin Youkilis on a fly to left and, after a wild pitch, walked Ortiz to load the bases with two outs. That was supposed to bring up Lowrie, but the Red Sox's switch-hitting shortstop exited with left shoulder tightness. That forced the Red Sox to bring up Mike Aviles, their right-handed-hitting utility infielder. Tateyama entered the game holding right-handed hitters to a .169 average. Aviles was hitting .213 off right-handed hitters. But Tateyama fell behind in the count 2-1 with three straight curveballs, missed with a sinker and then tried one more. Aviles lined it to right for a single that gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead. "I got behind in the count, [and] that changed everything," Tateyama said. "I should get outs against right-handers. I couldn't. That led to the result." "I knew I had the bases loaded, so I knew at some point in the at-bat he was going to have to throw something for a strike," Aviles said. "I was just trying to be as patient as possible and wait for a good pitch that I knew I could handle and not swing at his pitch." Tateyama also fell behind 1-0 to Crawford before throwing him a changeup. Crawford hit it over the Red Sox's bullpen for a grand slam that made it 8-3. "Tateyama is my guy there," Washington said. "If he gets the outs he's supposed to get, we would have been fine. He gives us a couple innings and I can go to the best part of my bullpen in the sixth. I'm not going to those guys right there though." Instead, Valdez replaced Tateyama and gave up three more singles plus one more run before the Rangers could get out of the inning. The Red Sox eventually built up a 12-3 lead before the Rangers rallied late. Esteban German's first home run since 2007 was a part of that, but the Rangers had too far to go.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.