Originally posted on Sox and Dawgs  |  Last updated 8/7/12

Is this the Boston Red Sox team we all expected this season? Or is this the Red Sox team that will get our hopes up only to dash them like teams of the past?

And while we're at it, is this the Carl Crawford that the Red Sox expected to get when they signed him to a seven-year, $142 million deal? Crawford went 2-for-4 with three RBIs to help the Red Sox to a 9-2 win over the Texas Rangers.

Crawford was only part of the reason why the Red Sox won big though last night. Aaron Cook played a big part shutting down the powerful offense of the Rangers. Plus the top four of the order was 11-for-18 with eight RBIs. Eight of those hits were doubles.

The Red Sox offense was facing Japanese phenom Yu Darvish for the first time. While he didn't exactly shut them down in the first two innings, he did keep them off the scoreboard. But once the Red Sox got a look at him one time through, they made their push in the 3rd inning.

Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a double and came into score on a Crawford double. After a Dustin Pedroia groundout, Adrian Gonzalez doubled in Crawford to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead. In the 4th after a Ryan Kalish walk and Mike Aviles single, Ellsbury doubled in Kalish that was followed by a Crawford sac fly. Pedroia brought in Ellsbury with a double of his own to make it 5-1 Red Sox.

The doubles onslaught continued in the 7th when Pedroia led off the inning with one and then came in to score on a Gonzo single. The offense would add three more runs off of Michael Kirkman in the 8th to make the lead insurmountable.

While Cook wasn't perfect on the night, he was more effective than he had been in his past few starts. He was able to scatter six hits over seven innings while walking three and picking up two rare strikeouts. Cook did it by mixing in all of his pitches. When hitters were thinking sinker, he was mixing in a slider and a curve.

For the Red Sox this outing was huge from Cook. Having been inconsistent his past few outings, it temporarily stabilized what the Red Sox get from the bottom of the rotation. But what needs to happen now is a few more of these from him.

When the top of the order hits like they did last night, the Red Sox are going to win some ballgames. Hopefully enough ballgames to get to them to the playoffs. Sure they'll not going to hit like this the rest of the season and that's when you hope the rest of the order gets going. But when all of them are going like this, you can only hope the pitching is good enough to get them the win.

That starts tonight with Jon Lester who we can only hope and pray that his cutter is effective and keeps the Rangers hitters at bay.

We'll be back later with today's lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day. So for now, let's take a look at the overnight links from the media.


To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click

Double feature [boston globe]

Valentine gets Henry backing [boston globe]

Ortiz opts for an injection [boston globe]

Reading between lines [boston globe]

Sox 1st in standings — in charity [boston globe]

Sox get behind manager, beat Rangers [boston herald]

Happy Valentine's stay [boston herald]

Aaron Cook makes pitch to stay in rotation [boston herald]

Aaron Cook makes pitch to stay in rotation [boston herald]

Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez remain hot at plate [boston herald]

Sox keep focus, beat Rangers, 9-2 [csn new england]

Sox not helping cause with Valentine vote of confidence [csn new england]

Top Sox hitters lock on, but still lacking consistency [csn new england]

Cook does his part, lets fielders do rest [csn new england]

Ortiz receives injection of pain killer in Achilles [csn new england]

Ortiz gets injection in ailing Achilles [espn boston]

GM: Sox aren't 'running up the back stairs' [espn boston]

Sox flip script in rout of Rangers [espn boston]

Boston Red Sox GM Ben Cherington keeps pushing his team to peak in Sisyphean task [espn boston]

Boston Red Sox brass are banking on a Bobby Valentine-led rebound [espn boston]

Closing Time: Cook dazzles, top four explodes as Red Sox rout Rangers [full count]

Red Sox Offense Explodes After Bobby Valentine's Job Status Triggers Some Fire [nesn.com]

Aaron Cook Seemingly Preserves His Spot in the Starting Rotation With Strong Performance [nesn.com]

Will Middlebrooks Reveals Favorite Player Growing Up Was Cal Ripken, Jr. (Video) [nesn.com]

Franklin Morales Hits the Tub to Keep His Legs in Shape While Adapting to Changing Role [nesn.com]

Youkilis donates $20,000 to replace gear destroyed in N.H. fire [projo sox blog]

It's on the players: Red Sox redirect responsibility for 2012 from manager's office to the field [alex speier - weei.com]

Bailey prepares for next phase of rehab [redsox.com]

Sox players back their embattled manager [csn new england]

Ellsbury, Crawford 'electric' setting table [csn new england]

For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSN New England,  ESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal, RedSox.com and WEEI websites.

And if you must check out the enemy news, head over to the Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram websites.

Follow Ian on Twitter @soxanddawgs. And be sure to like us on Facebook as well.

photo credit: ap photo

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration


Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Adam Jones: Bengals dominated Steelers in playoff game

Robert Griffin III on QB battle: Only one of us runs 4.3

Gordon defends friendship with 'good friend' Manziel

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

Five NFL teams set to underachieve in 2016

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker