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Rangers beat Red Sox to take wild-card lead

ARLINGTON, Texas — Ian Kinsler homered and drove in two runs, Dustin Nippert pitched six solid innings and the Texas Rangers passed Boston in the AL wild-card race, beating the Red Sox 4-3 Sunday.

The Rangers took two of three in the weekend series to move a half-game ahead of Boston.

Kinsler, back in the lineup one day after he was hit by a pitch that ricocheted off his shoulder to his head, went deep for the second straight day and had an RBI single in the third that gave Texas a 3-1 lead.

Taylor Teagarden also connected to help the Rangers win for the seventh time in 10 games.

Nippert (4-1) gave up two runs and six hits to beat the Red Sox for the second time in a month. The right-hander pitched 5 2-3 innings to defeat Boston on July 22, his only other win as a starter this season.

With Red Sox runners on first and second, C.J. Wilson struck out two consecutive batters to get out of the eighth. Frank Francisco then pitched a spotless ninth for his 16th save, just two days after giving up six runs in the ninth inning of an 8-4 loss in the series opener.

David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia homered for the Red Sox, who dropped to 2-7 against the Rangers in their final scheduled meeting this season. Junichi Tazawa (1-2) yielded 10 hits and four runs over five-plus innings in his second career start.

Ortiz homered leading off the second, his 17th of the season and second of the series.

Kinsler responded with his 25th homer in the bottom half and Texas took the lead for good with two runs in the third. Josh Hamilton drove in David Murphy with a double and scored on Kinsler's single.

Brian Anderson's sacrifice fly cut Texas' lead to 3-2 in the fourth and Boston threatened again in the fifth, putting runners on first and second with two out. But Nippert struck out Mike Lowell to end the threat.

Lowell hurled his bat and helmet in frustration as the Red Sox struggled for a second straight game to get runners home. Boston was 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position and is 0 for 10 the past two games.

NOTES: Boston RHP Tim Wakefield (back strain) made a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket Saturday night and allowed two runs and three hits in 3 2-3 innings. Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Wakefield had a noticeable limp coming off the mound in the second inning. "Everybody thinks he can pitch," Francona said. "We don't know if he can field his position." ... Rangers manager Ron Washington said C Kevin Richardson, who was called up from the minors Saturday, will make his major league debut Monday night against Minnesota. ... Red Sox OF J.D. Drew (sore groin) missed his second straight game.