BOSTON -- The Rangers had been successful on 35 straight steals against the Red Sox before Nelson Cruz was thrown out in the second inning of Saturday night's game.
Cruz, running from second base after Chris Davis took ball four, was thrown out not by the catcher, but by pitcher John Lackey, thinking that the Red Sox weren't watching and he could swipe third base unopposed.
"I wasn't sure what he was doing," Lackey said. "I should have thanked him, though. I heard some yelling from all over the place, yeah."
Manager Ron Washington likes his players to be aggressive on the basepaths, but admitted that was probably excessive. There were two outs in the inning anyway and that got Lackey off the mound instead of facing Julio Borbon with two runners on base.
"Trying to catch them off guard I guess," Washington said. "Hoping he could pull off a sneak attack ... but at that point, Lackey was struggling with his pitch count. I would have liked Borbon to have a chance to drive him in. But that got him out of the inning. You never know how many more pitches Lackey would have thrown."
Vladimir Guerrero also got thrown out stealing in the fourth after a one-out single. Washington didn't have a problem with that even though Josh Hamilton followed with what could have been a run-scoring double.
"That's the way we play," Washington said. "He just got thrown out. I'm not taking their aggressiveness away. You love it when it's good, you're not going to hate it when it's bad."