Published: Thu, May 03, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Texas Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox

Texas Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox

Boston had won three of its last four contests heading into the opener on Thursday.

The Royals attempted a rally in the fourth, with Alcides Escobar driving home Gordon on a double and Escobar immediately scoring on Whit Merrifield's two-base hit.

Betts missed three days with a tight hamstring and promptly returned with a three-homer game against the Kansas City Royals - his second three-homer game of the young season. The Red Sox slugger crushed a 443 foot homer to left-center field against Royals starter Danny Duffy on an 85.8 miles per hour changeup.

Danny Duffy has never beaten the Boston Red Sox, with the bulk of his poor numbers coming at Fenway Park.

Betts went 4-for-4, three RBI and three runs scored. "He's doing an outstanding job being ready to hit from the get-go and setting the tempo for the team".

Right-hander Rick Porcello (4-0, 2.23 ERA) is taking the mound for Boston on Friday. The offense averaged 6.53 runs per game in the blazing start. Porcello has 38 strikeouts in 40.1 innings this year.

The Red Sox finished dead last in the American League in home runs last season, hitting just 168.

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Encarnacion tops the Indians with nine home runs after slamming three more in a 12-4 rout of the Rangers.

Betts hit solo home runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings of a 5-4 win against the Royals.

Adding JD Martinez certainly has helped as he has six homers so far this season, but Martinez is being outpaced on his own team this year. The 25-year-old will once again be available off the bench Tuesday. Betts leads the club with 11 homers. It's a much larger sample size of him leading off (353 games), however, than the other two spots (87 games combined). Red Sox games have gone over 16 times, gone under 12 times and pushed on one occasion.

Jackie Bradley 3-for-7 against Duffy, but Nunez is 2-for-10 and Xander Bogaerts is 2-for-9, although one of the hits is a home run. Expect those trends to continue.

Texas starting pitcher Matt Moore was a bit of a sacrificial lamb in Wednesday's lopsided loss, lasting four innings to provide a bit of a respite for the Rangers' beleaguered (and mostly ineffective) relief corps.

Maintaining a slash line of.306/.412/.516 across 148 plate appearances, Betts enjoyed batting against left-handed pitching previous year (compared to his total season slash line of.264/.344/.459).

Kansas City jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning.

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