ARLINGTON – Joe Nathan seemed destined for a crisp ninth inning to keep a 1-1 game in tact, retiring the first two batters on six pitches.
But he issued consecutive two-out walks to Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Mike Aviles made Nathan pay for those walks, flaring a single over the outstretched glove of Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus to drive in Crawford.
That proved to be the difference in a 2-1 victory for Boston, which snapped a four-game losing streak. The loss spoiled a strong start by Martin Perez.
Perez opened with a perfect first, and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the second. He didn’t run into trouble again until the fourth, when the Red Sox scored their lone run off him. Kelly Shoppach had a two-out RBI double to drive in Cody Ross, who had drawn a leadoff walk.
Perez went six innings, allowing one run on five hits with two walks and one strikeout. Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz was just as good, though, allowing one run on four hits over seven innings.
The Rangers scored that run in the sixth to tie the game at 1-1. Andrus had a one-out double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a grounder by Josh Hamilton.
The Rangers had another scoring chance in the eighth. Andrus reached with a one-out infield single and moved to third with two outs on an errant pick off throw to first by Vicente Padilla.
Padilla then hit Adrian Beltre in the head with a 0-2, 92 mph fastball to put runners at first and third. Beltre had to leave the game after that, and Padilla ended the threat by getting Michael Young to ground out.
The results of Beltre's initial examination came back "normal," and the Rangers will continue to monitor him.
Finally, it’s worth noting, Ian Kinsler was ejected in the first inning after he was picked off first base. He argued the call with first base umpire Tim Tschida, who quickly ejected him. It was Kinsler’s second ejection of the season.
-- Drew Davison