ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Mike Minor worked into the ninth inning to reach 200 strikeouts in a season for the first time after the Rangers purposely let a foul pop drop, Danny Santana hit a grand slam and Texas beat the Boston Red Sox 7-5 on Thursday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Minor (14-10) started the day needing nine strikeouts to reach 200, and he struck out six of his first 11 batters. He got another in the fifth but didn’t get his eighth until Sam Travis ending the seventh on his 117th pitch, which matched his career high.
When Minor walked the batter before Travis, manager Chris Woodward took a step out of the dugout toward the mound before getting waved back by the 31-year-old left-hander.
Boston went 1-2-3 in the eighth on three pitches, two groundouts and a popout.
So Minor came back out for the ninth. Sandy León flied out before Chris Owings popped up a 1-1 pitch. First baseman Ronald Guzmán was coming in to make the catch but then heard Minor and catcher Jose Trevino shouting at him to let the ball drop to the ground. Owings took a called third strike on the 126th and final pitch by Minor, who finished with a career-high 208 1/3 innings.
Jose Leclerc got the final out for his 14th save in 18 chances.
Jackie Bradley Jr. and Owings hit solo homers in the Boston seventh to tie the game at 5-5.
Santana’s slam in the fifth put Texas up 5-3.
ON THE ROAD
Boston finished 46-35 on the road but is just 37-41 at Fenway Park.
Red Sox: LF Andrew Benintendi fouled a pitch off his lower leg in the fourth and was replaced by a pinch hitter the following inning. … RF Mookie Betts missed his second game in a row since coming out of Tuesday’s series opener after he jammed his left toe against the wall while playing defense. Manager Alex Cora said the 2018 AL MVP will play at home this weekend. … LHP David Price had a cyst removed from his left wrist. Cora said everything went fine and that Price should be ready for a normal spring training.
Red Sox: LHP James Paxton (15-6) pitches for the Boston to open a season-ending three-game series at Fenway Park against Baltimore.
Rangers: The AL East champion New York Yankees are in town Friday night for the opener of a three-game series that is the last for Texas before the team moves across the street into a new stadium next season.