BOSTON -- Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester had a simple explanation for what happened on Sunday afternoon. "I just got outpitched," Lester said after the Rangers' 4-2 victory over the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Texas starter C.J. Wilson also had a theory after holding Boston to one run in 6 2/3 innings to go 2-0 in two starts at Fenway this season.
"I always enjoy pitching here," Wilson said. "The fans are so into it, it gives you something to rally against. I also really love this mound. I always feel like I have good stuff on this mound. I just wanted to go out there and throw seven or eight good innings." He didn't get quite that far, but he still pitched well enough for the Rangers to win their third in four games against the Red Sox this weekend to start the second half. Wilson allowed just one run on three hits. He walked five, but set a career high with 10 strikeouts. There are times when Wilson can get only his fastball across the plate, but he had all five pitches working Sunday, especially a mean breaking ball that was huge in allowing him to rack up the strikeouts. "I made them chase some pitches out of the strike zone and when I came in the strike zone, they swung and missed at some pitches," Wilson said. He is just the second Rangers pitcher to strike out 10 in a game this season -- Colby Lewis has done it four times -- and just the second left-hander to do so in the past 11 seasons. The last Texas pitcher to strike out 10 Red Sox in a game was Roger Pavlik in 1993, and the last to do it in Fenway was Bobby Witt back in 1987. But Wilson has learned quickly how to pitch at Fenway. He beat the Red Sox, 3-0, on April 22 with 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He has two victories on the road this season and both have come against the Red Sox. "Great job by C.J. to go out and match Jon Lester," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "You can't say enough about what he did." Washington said the big inning was the sixth. Texas led, 3-1, but Marco Scutaro, hitting in the leadoff spot, led off with a double. Wilson came back to get Darnell McDonald on a grounder to third and David Ortiz on a fly to left. Kevin Youkilis walked, not a bad development considering he was 7-for-15 in the series, but Wilson struck out Adrian Beltre to end the inning. "That saved our game, getting us out of that inning," Washington said. Wilson struck out the first two hitters he faced in the seventh before issuing his fifth walk. At that point, Washington brought in Darren O'Day to finish the inning. Frank Francisco and Neftali Feliz did the rest as Rangers pitchers ended up striking out 14 while holding the Red Sox to 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Wilson is now 8-5 with a 3.23 ERA on the season. "He had very good velocity and a slider," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Because of the velocity, it was hard to lay off that breaking ball, so it was tough to lay off the pitches out of the zone. He had great stuff."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.