BOSTON -- Phil Klein earned his first Major League win as a starter and Robinson Chirinos crushed a solo home run that provided the scoring difference as the Rangers edged out a 2-1 victory over the Red Sox on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
Klein pitched effectively as a rotation fill-in for the Rangers, firing 5 1/3 innings of one-run baseball and throwing strikes on 56 of his 81 pitches. Shawn Tolleson, taking over as the Rangers' closer, pitched around a one-out double in a scoreless ninth en route to his first Major League save.
"That was a great game. … A fun one to win," Tolleson said.
Red Sox starter Joe Kelly continued to emerge from his recent funk on the mound, tossing his second quality start in as many outings, but he took his third loss of the season. He allowed two runs in seven innings, struck out seven and walked one.
Xander Bogaerts produced Boston's only run, a towering fifth-inning homer that sailed over the Green Monster, as the team went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
"You can't steer it after you hit it," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We had a number of good at-bats with men in scoring position. Squared some balls up and they didn't fall."
Kelly commands in losing effort: Kelly's mistakes were few and far between, but the ones he did make left him on the hook as the Red Sox provided little in the way of offensive support. The right-hander located his fastball well, made a couple of nice defensive plays and retired nine of the final 11 batters he faced after Chirinos' third-inning homer, but Kelly remains winless across his last seven starts.
"He's more under control," Farrell said. "He's been down in the strike zone, and when he's missed, he's missed to the extreme, not with the ball leaking back over the middle of the plate. I even thought the ball that Chirinos hit was a fairly well-located fastball. He's been very strong, very consistent the last two times out." More >
Rangers' defense shines early: The Rangers helped Klein with standout defense. Center fielder Leonys Martin ran down Mookie Betts' deep drive to left-center in the first. Left fielder Delino DeShields jumped in front of the left-field wall to take a hit away from Ramirez in the second and first baseman Mitch Moreland saved Beltre from an error by digging a throw out of the dirt in the third.
Hard hits don't fall for Sox: Boston's talented lineup pounded out eight hits, but the Sox again struggled to capitalize with runners in scoring position. In the sixth inning, Holt struck out and Bogaerts lined out to center to leave the bases loaded. With two men on in the seventh, Ramirez hit a scorcher that went right into the glove of second baseman Thomas Field.
The Red Sox have now scored four runs or fewer in each of their last eight games.
"The numbers probably say otherwise," Bogaerts said, "but the amount of balls we've been hitting hard, it reminds me a lot of last year in the beginning when we weren't scoring runs. Same thing." More >
"I thought he hit it pretty good. I would have concussed myself to catch that ball." -- DeShields, on catching Dustin Pedroia's ninth-inning fly ball against the left-field wall.
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Nava's fourth-inning ground-rule double was his first extra-base hit since April 11, when he doubled against the Yankees. Nava went 4-for-43 with 12 strikeouts over that 20-game drought.
The Rangers were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. It's the first time in nine games this season that they were able to win without getting a hit in those situations.
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In the seventh inning, Martin doubled off the Green Monster, and Ramirez dropped the ball while attempting a throw to the cutoff man. Martin to advance to third base as Betts picked up the loose ball and tried to throw him out. The Red Sox challenged the safe call, and the ruling was confirmed after a review lasting one minute and one second. Ramirez was charged with his second error of the season.
"He picked the ball up, tried to throw it and it slipped out of his hand, just on the exchange," Farrell said. "Mookie's doing a great job of backing him up. And then Joe Kelly picked him up with a couple of strikeouts."
WHAT'S NEXT Rangers:Wandy Rodriguez pitches for the Rangers against the Red Sox in the final game of the three-game series on Thursday night. Rodriguez will be facing the Red Sox for the first time in his career.
Red Sox: Texas native Clay Buchholz makes his ninth start of the year for Boston. The right-hander pitched a gem Friday vs. the Mariners, allowing one run over eight innings while recording 11 strikeouts.