Web Analytics and Web Statistics by NextSTAT The Boston Sports Nut: Red Sox hang on again. Beat Rangers 8-4

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Red Sox hang on again. Beat Rangers 8-4

August 14, 2008. Boston, MA - With his shaved head and hustling style, Kevin Youkilis will never be mistaken for Manny Ramirez. But there is one similarity, at least lately -- the power Youkilis has brought to the cleanup spot held by Ramirez until he was traded July 31. Youkilis doubled in each of his first three at-bats Wednesday night, leading another hitting outburst that gave the Boston Red Sox an 8-4 win over the Texas Rangers.

"You can't worry about where you hit," Youkilis said. "When you go up there it's not like they put a number on you saying you're hitting fourth today." He delivered a day after his three-run homer gave the Red Sox a 19-17 victory, a win that came after they blew a 10-run cushion. Youkilis homered twice in that wild win. Youkilis "has had a phenomenal offensive year," Boston's Jason Varitek said. "We've known about him as a hitter, but now he's added some power."

In seven games batting fourth since Ramirez left, Youkilis is 10-for-25 with two home runs, five doubles and eight RBIs. His 22 homers are six more than the career high he set last year, his 83 RBIs match his best total and he's only two points behind AL batting leader Johnny Damon.

Texas trailed 8-0 in the eighth inning, but Milton Bradley's three-run homer made it 8-4. The Rangers then put their first two batters on base in the ninth before Ian Kinsler -- leading the majors in hits -- grounded into a double play and Texas fell short of another big comeback.

Jon Lester (11-4) held the top-hitting team in baseball to seven hits in 7 1/3 innings. He left shortly after Kinsler's solo homer, and the Red Sox got a mini-scare later in the eighth when Mike Timlin allowed Bradley's 20th home run. "We made it a little more interesting than we needed to," Boston manager Terry Francona said. Javier Lopez got the final two outs of the inning and Justin Masterson worked the ninth.

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