By KYLE HIGHTOWER
AP Sports Writer
BOSTON (AP) — Brayan Bello pitched six scoreless innings in his first major league win and John Schreiber escaped a jam in the ninth, helping the Boston Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 5-3 on Saturday.
Bello (1-4) allowed three hits, struck out five and walked one in the longest of his eight big league appearances. The 23-year-old right-hander is one of the team’s top prospects.
“I feel very happy and that shows all the hard work that has gone on in between starts and since I first came in here to a big league team,” Bello said through a translator. “I felt very good. Everything was working. … I was trying to attack the hitters and throw pitches for strikes. You see the results right there.”
Manager Alex Cora said Bello is finding a comfort level after some initial rough outings.
“I think he knows what’s going on and he’s thinking about what he should do,” Cora said. “As far as executing the game plan, that was his best.”
Rafael Devers drove in two runs in Boston’s fourth straight victory. Devers, Xander Bogaerts and Trevor Story each had two hits.
Marcus Semien and Nathaniel Lowe homered for Texas in the eighth. Dennis Santana (3-7) pitched two innings of one-run ball in his first major league start, serving as an opener for the Rangers.
Texas dropped its seventh straight game.
Cora turned to Matt Barnes for the ninth, and Texas loaded the bases on consecutive one-out singles by pinch-hitter Jonah Heim and Bubba Thompson.
Schreiber then came in. The right-hander struck out Semien on three pitches, and then got Corey Seager to ground out for his sixth save.
Devers put the Red Sox in front in the first inning, driving in Bogaerts with his 37th double of the season.
Boston added two more runs in the fifth, courtesy of a pair of walks, a balk, an error and two fielder’s choices.
Brian Burke’s balk allowed Kiké Hernández and Alex Verdugo to advance to second and third. Bogaerts hit a soft grounder to Seager, but the shortstop’s throw home was mishandled by catcher Meibrys Viloria, allowing Hernández to score.
Devers then beat out a potential double-play grounder to second, bringing Verdugo home.
“Tonight we didn’t handle the baseball,” Rangers interim manager Tony Beasley said. “We did things tonight that weren’t conducive to winning. That’s the bottom line. You can’t play 30 outs and expect to be a good ball team.”
Red Sox: Cora said right-hander Tanner Houck will undergo season-ending surgery for an ongoing back issue. Houck hasn’t pitched since Aug. 2. He made 32 appearances this season with a 3.15 ERA, 56 strikeouts and eight saves over 60 innings.
Boston slugger J.D. Martinez doubled in the fourth inning for his 1,499th hit. He had a chance in the seventh to become the 175th player to record at least 1,500 hits and 275 home runs, but he reached on an error on third baseman Ezequiel Duran. Bogaerts scored on the play for a 4-0 lead.
Dane Dunning (3-7, 4.16 ERA) starts for Texas on Sunday. The right-hander has a 4.87 ERA over his last four starts. Cora said after the game that right-hander Kutter Crawford is being scratched from his scheduled start because of shoulder soreness. Who will take his place is to be determined.
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