But Texas unloaded on Kimbrel with a four-run barrage in the ninth, highlighted by a mammoth three-run homer off of a light stanchion above the Green Monster in left from Robinson Chirinos. Kimbrel faced four batters and didn't get any of them out. The Rangers got five scoreless innings from five relievers with Cesar Ramos getting the win.
"It was good to have a win tonight," Chirinos said. "We haven't played well the past few days, but we did tonight. We pitched good and hit. A team win ... everybody pulled a little bit to win the game."
Kimbrel was upset with himself for letting the game get out of hand.
"You can't start an inning out with a leadoff walk, especially the way that David pitched today," said Kimbrel. "He gave us a chance. Unfortunately I wasn't able to go out there and keep it a one-run lead and give us a chance in the ninth. It didn't happen today. It's probably one of the worst outings of my career. It's disappointing. Figure out what I did wrong, and be ready to go tomorrow."
The early damage, which included Shin-Soo Choo hitting the first pitch of the game over the wall in center for a home run, helped Texas even the series heading into Wednesday night's rubber match. A sacrifice fly by Elvis Andrus put the Red Sox in a 2-0 hole in the top of the first.
"I'm tired of this. This is not me. I've got to get better," said Price, who is 8-6 with a 4.64 ERA.
Jackie Bradley Jr. got the Red Sox within one with a solo shot in the second. Rangers starter A.J. Griffin, who took a no-decision, was wild in the fourth, walking three straight batters to force in the tying run.
The Rangers went ahead for good in the sixth on an RBI double by Rougned Odor.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Choo choo train: Before fans even settled into their seats, Choo knocked a solo shot to center field on Price's first pitch of the night. Price's 92 mph fastball left the park on an exit velocity of 106.6 mph, his hardest hit ball put into play this season per Statcast™. Choo's seventh blast of the season had a projected distance of 421 feet, his farthest homer this season. Choo wound up leaving the game in the bottom of the fifth inning with back stiffness. More >
"It was nice we got up early with Choo with the home run," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Had the bases loaded early. We've had some success. It's obviously a challenge, great pitcher in David Price, but it seems like they love that challenge. They love to rise up and face a guy like that."
Bradley's All-Star swing: Bradley celebrated the first All-Star selection of his career by hammering a homer to center to lead off the bottom of the second. It was Bradley's 14th home run of the season. According to Statcast™, it left the bat at 104-mph with an estimated distance of 422 feet. More >
Rangers pull ahead: In the top of the sixth inning with the game tied at 2, Andrus singled on a sharp line drive to left field. Moments later, Odor capitalized on a double for the go-ahead run. Andrus was rounding third when a hard throw by Bradley was deflected by cutoff man Hanley Ramirez. Andrus scored and Odor moved to third on the throw as the Rangers took a 3-2 lead.
Kimbrel's non-save struggles: Kimbrel continues to have trouble in non-save situations. In 14 such appearances this season, he has given up 10 earned runs in 13 1/3 innings. By comparison, Kimbrel has a 1.45 ERA in his 19 save opportunities, converting 17 of them.
"I still want to be out there," Kimbrel said. "I haven't thrown in a few days, and our bullpen's been taxed, we've been pitching a lot. It's a situation where I've got to get out there, I've got to work, and keep it close. It just didn't happen."
Chirinos calls home run: Chirinos broke the game open with a three-run home run off Kimbrel in the ninth. Chirinos said he predicted the home run to pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez.
"In the dugout getting ready to hit, I told Chi Chi I was going to hit a home run, and I did," Chirinos said. "He throws hard, middle in, and I was able to put a good swing on it."
"The way we won tonight ... it was challenging early. But five scoreless innings from our bullpen, incredible job." -- Banister
"There's nothing positive to point at right now. Threw 50 pitches through two, still went eight, we still lost. It doesn't matter. I've got to be better. That's why they brought me here. I'm not doing it right now." -- Price
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Red Sox fell to 2-18 when they score two runs or fewer. Boston is 16-25 when the opponent scores first.
WHAT'S NEXT Rangers: Left-hander Martin Perez (7-4, 3.39 ERA) will make his team-high 18th start of the season in Wednesday's series finale at 6:10 p.m. CT in Boston. The southpaw has gone 6-0 with a 3.28 ERA over his last eight starts.
Red Sox: Knuckleballer Steven Wright will make his final start of the first half Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET, one day after learning that he made the All-Star team. The right-hander took a shutout into the sixth inning in his last start against the Angels but lost his feel for the knuckler in the rain and gave up a grand slam. He hung on for a 5-4 win.