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-center. Betts, who moved from right to center, 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.