BOSTON — Hunter Pence sprinted through his 14th homer of the season, although there was probably no need to hurry.
Pence hit a stand-up, inside-the-park home run and the Texas Rangers beat Boston 9-5 Tuesday night, capitalizing when the Red Sox unraveled after their manager and right fielder were ejected.
“Kind of just a weird incident to be a part of,” said Pence, whose fly ball to right in the sixth turned into a surprise two-run homer. “I’ve never done it, so now I have. It’s a good feeling.”
Texas has won four of five, including Monday night’s extra-innings victory at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox lost their third straight loss and fifth in six games.
“Guys are frustrated. We try not to be, but games like tonight, it’s embarrassing,” said Brock Holt, who misplayed Pence’s homer. “We’re not playing well. We’re not playing up to our capabilities and that’s the frustrating part.”
Ariel Jurado (4-2) struck out six while pitching six innings of three-run ball, and Pence, Asdrubal Cabrera and Ronald Guzman each had two RBIs for the Rangers.
Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts homered for the Red Sox, who dropped to 34-34 on a night filled with frustrations. Andrew Benintendi was ejected in the fifth, and manager Alex Cora was also tossed defending his outfielder.
With Benintendi banished to the clubhouse, Pence took advantage of a realigned outfield.
Holt moved from left field to right in the sixth and couldn’t track down Pence’s fly at the short right field wall. Holt fell onto the top of the wall and remained draped there while the ball rolled slowly toward right-centre. Betts, who moved from right to centre, couldn’t get to the ball before Pence finished his dash around the bases. That put Texas up 9-3.
“I was watching it probably a little too long because I was like awkwardly around first base, so then I just took off running because I saw the ball,” Pence said. “I heard someone saying ‘slow down, slow down’ and I’m like ‘I’m not slowing down until I see an umpire say something.”‘
Cabrera followed Pence with a line drive to left and tried to stretch it to a double, sliding in and initially being called safe before second base umpire Jordan Baker quickly reversed his own call. That brought Texas manager Chris Woodward storming out of the dugout. He went straight for plate umpire Angel Hernandez and shouted in his face until he got tossed — the first ejection of his managing career.
Woodward said he was upset because he was considering challenging the call and wasn’t told when he had run out of time.
“I just want consistency — that’s all — from the umpires,” Woodward said. “They have a hard job to do. But most umpires give you the ultimatum when it comes down to the 30 seconds. I don’t have a 30-second clock in my head — I’m not that gifted.”
Darwinzon Hernandez (0-1) made his first major league start and struck out seven, but he struggled with his control and allowed four runs — three earned — on three hits and five walks. He faced two batters in the fourth, when Texas pulled ahead 4-3.
Although he was ejected by first base umpire Vic Carapazza, Benintendi appeared to be upset with Hernandez. He turned and shouted toward home plate after grounding out, prompting the ejection.
Cora came out to argue and got into it with Carapazza and Hernandez near first base before being given his third career ejection. While Cora yelled at both umpires, Benintendi continued to bark from the top step of the dugout.
Benintendi said it was odd because his complaint was directed at Hernandez.
“I know that Angel didn’t hear me,” Benintendi said in the clubhouse. “It stinks. We’re out there trying to win a game. I want to be a part of it, but can’t do that when I’m in here.”
Hernandez issued a statement through a pool reporter following the game, saying little to explain the ejections.
“He violated the rules of the game,” Hernandez said. “I’m not at liberty to discuss anything until I submit the report tomorrow.”
Hernandez said Woodward apparently didn’t hear when he was told time was running out to challenge the call.
“We were not going to review the play once time expired,” Hernandez said. “These are rules. It’s my job to enforce them.”
GET WELL, PAPI
Fans cheered between the second and third innings when the Red Sox showed a video from 13 years before, when David Ortiz hit a three-run walk-off homer on June 11, 2006 for the Red Sox in a 5-4 win over Texas.
Ortiz was a few miles away at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he is recovering in intensive care after being flown to Boston for a second surgery following a shooting in the Dominican Republic on Sunday night.
Rangers: OF Joey Gallo (strained oblique) hit from a tee Tuesday. Gallo has been on the injured list since June 2.
Red Sox: Placed RHP Ryan Brasier on the bereavement/family medical emergency list. Hernandez was recalled from Double-A Portland. … 1B/DH Steve Pearce (lower back strain) did some running Tuesday and will take swings Wednesday.
Rangers RHP Lance Lynn (7-4, 4.39 ERA) faces RHP Rick Porcello (4-6, 4.86) in the third game of the series, which was moved up to a 4 p.m. start because of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Blues and the Bruins.