Fielder struggles at Fenway again, Rangers lose
BOSTON (AP) — Prince Fielder’s visit to Fenway Park wasn’t much better than the last one with his previous team.
Fielder, traded to Texas from Detroit during the offseason for second baseman Ian Kinsler, went 0 for 4 and committed a throwing error that allowed a run to score as the Rangers lost to the Red Sox 5-1 Monday night.
The slugger is in a 2-for-19 slump and is hitting just .143 (4 for 28) with no homers and one RBI with the Rangers.
"I’m just going to go up there. No matter how you feel you’ve got to give it your best," he said.
The last time Fielder was in Fenway, the Tigers lost the AL championship series to the Red Sox. Midway through the clinching Game 6, he was caught in a rundown and tagged out attempting to get back to third base. It was part of a key double play that ended a Tigers rally.
On Monday, his throwing error allowed a run to score in the middle of Boston’s three-run eighth.
"It’s hard for me to tell," Rangers manager Ron Washington said when asked about Fielder’s struggles at the plate. "He seemed to be calm, but offensively things aren’t happening. I certainly believe in him and I know sooner or later it’s going to happen."
John Lackey pitched seven strong innings and Jackie Bradley Jr. singled in two runs for the Red Sox, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
The Red Sox never lost more than three straight last year when they won the World Series. They avoided dropping their first four home games for the first time since 1984.
Lackey (2-0) allowed an unearned run and five hits in seven innings five days after giving up two runs over six innings in a 6-2 win at Baltimore. Chris Capuano pitched the eighth and Koji Uehara escaped a second-and-third jam in the ninth in a non-save situation.
Tanner Scheppers (0-1) allowed Bradley’s run-scoring hits in the second and fourth, and Boston added three runs in the eighth.
"For the most part I kept the ball on the ground," said Scheppers, who lasted five innings. "I’ve got to give the team more innings. I’ve got to go deeper in the ballgame. Forcing the manager’s hand in the fifth inning is not what a starting pitcher should do."
Bradley, Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski each had three singles for the Red Sox.
Boston took a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI single by Bradley after singles by Xander Bogaerts and Pierzynski.
Texas tied it in the fourth on singles by Adrian Beltre and Alex Rios, a passed ball and a sacrifice fly by Mitch Moreland.
Bradley came through again in the fourth with another run-scoring single after Pierzynski singled and went to third on a single by Jonathan Herrera.
The Red Sox stranded runners at second and third in the fifth after Napoli and Grady Sizemore singled and both advanced on a passed ball. Pierzynski ended the inning by striking out.
Then the Rangers left runners at second and third with a chance to tie the game in the seventh. The threat ended when J.P. Arencibia grounded out to second as Lackey pounded his glove while walking off the mound after facing his final batter.
"We had some opportunities against Lackey, but he showed why he’s one of the best pitchers in the American League," Washington said.
The Red Sox wasted a chance to extend their lead in the seventh when Bogaerts struck out with runners at second and third and two outs against Seth Rosin.
Boston reached Rosin for three runs in the eighth when Pierzynski singled, went to second on a walk to Herrera and scored when Bradley bunted for a single and Fielder threw wildly for an error. The other runs scored on a single by Daniel Nava and a fielder’s choice groundout by Dustin Pedroia.
NOTES: Elvis Andrus and Rios have hits in each of Texas’ seven games. … Martin Perez (0-0) pitches for Texas against Felix Doubront (1-0) in the second game of the three-game series Tuesday. … Washington said Yu Darvish, whose first start was delayed until last Sunday by back stiffness, will have his usual four days off before pitching Friday even though Texas has an off day Thursday. Scheppers’ next start will be pushed back to the weekend. … The Rangers placed LHP Joe Saunders on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised left ankle.