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July 25, 2012

Wrapping up Rangers series win over Red Sox

A common catch phrase in the Texas Rangers' clubhouse is the importance of winning series. If the Rangers are able to do that, of course, they'll be in good shape throughout the course of the season.

And Texas completed another series victory on Wednesday with a 5-3 victory over Boston. The Rangers took the series, 2-1, and maintained their five-game lead over the Athletics and Angels in the American League West.

The Rangers have now won seven consecutive home series, and are 10-2-1 in their last 13 series overall. Here are a few postgame notes:

* Derek Holland matched his longest outing of the season, allowing three runs (two on solo home runs) on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings. Holland has been effective against the Red Sox his entire career, as he improves to 4-1 with a 3.00 ERA in five career starts.

* Joe Nathan bounced back from his rough outing on Tuesday. A night after throwing 29 pitches, Nathan needed only 14 to complete a perfect ninth and earn his 20th save of the season. He said his fastball command was better, and he was able to mix up his pitches well. Nathan is one of five active closers with seven or more seasons of at least 20 saves, joining Mariano Rivera (15), Francisco Cordero (8), Jason Isringhausen (8) and Francisco Rodriguez (7).

* Elvis Andrus extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the fourth. That's his longest hitting streak of the season, and three shy of his career-long (16 games from Aug. 28-Sept. 14, 2009).

* David Murphy snapped a 15-game RBI drought with an RBI double in the fourth. ... Craig Gentry had a suicide squeeze bunt in the fourth, his second of the season. ... Nelson Cruz belted his 13th home run, and has homered in two of the last four games.

-- Drew Davison

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