BOSTON — David Ortiz hit a three-run homer off Michael Kirkman in the ninth inning to give Boston a quick 3-2 walk-off victory over the Rangers on Thursday night.
The Rangers were down to Kirkman after using Robbie Ross, Jason Frasor and Tanner Scheppers in the seventh and eighth innings. Ross and Frasor couldn’t hold a 3-2 lead, and Scheppers was done after a scoreless eighth.
That left Kirkman as the Rangers’ best option, and he surrendered a hard double to center field to Gomes on the first pitch of the inning before intentionally walking Dustin Pedroia to get a left-on-left match with Ortiz.
Ortiz lined the first pitch over the right-field wall to end it.
Jeff Baker and Adrian Beltre connected for early home runs, and Derek Holland allowed two runs in six labor-intensive innings and left with a 3-2 lead.
But Boston pulled even against Robbie Ross, who allowed a double to Jacoby Ellsbury and a single to Gomes to open the seventh. After Pedroia struck out, Ortiz walked to load the bases and finish off Ross.
Jason Frasor entered to face Mike Napoli, and got a grounder at Lance Berkman at first base. But his throw to second skipped to Elvis Andrus, and the return throw to Frasor was too late to complete a double play and brought in the tying run.
Baker struck against Jon Lester in the second after A.J. Pierzynski had opened with a double. The homer left Baker 7 for 9 in his career against the Boston left-hander, who would retire him in his next two at-bats.
Beltre’s homer came with one out in the third, and moments after Berkman had been thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Pedroia got the Red Sox going with a two-out two-run double in the bottom of the inning, which started with Holland walking No. 8 hitter Jose Iglesias.
But Berkman did some good with his glove, getting Ellsbury at home for the first out of the fifth inning and helping Holland escape with a 3-2 lead.
Holland wiggled free again in the sixth, striking out Pedro Ciriaco to end the inning with runners at second and third.
-- Jeff Wilson