ARLINGTON, Texas -- C.J. Wilson pitched well, as usual, against the Red Sox and Mike Napoli hit a big three-run homer to give the Rangers some breathing room in a 4-0 win over Boston. The club had great defense and got some solid work from the bullpen, too. The Angels had the night off, so the Rangers increased their lead in the AL West to 4 1/2 games. Some quick thoughts (more to come from the clubhouse):
* The Rangers now have 15 shutouts this season, the highest total in club history since the team-record 17 shutouts in 1977.
* Wilson threw 40 pitches in the first two innings, but found a way to get a lot more efficient after that. He threw 51 pitches in the next four innings, giving him an average of 15.2 per inning through six innings. He ended up with 110 pitches in 6 2/3 innings and didn't give up a run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Wilson lowered his ERA to 3.08.
* Wilson's fastball command was excellent and his breaking stuff was very effective, as he mixed up pitches as usual. The Red Sox got one runner into scoring position in the first and then didn't again until the seventh. Wilson is now 4-1 with a 1.43 ERA in 17 games (five starts) against Boston in his career. The Red Sox have one of the best offenses in the AL, so it was an impressive showing for Wilson (even with some of the Boston hitters hurt).
* Mike Napoli provided the big blast -- like he has nearly all season. His three-run homer to left turned a 1-0 game into a 4-0 Rangers lead in the sixth inning. The homer came with two outs. According to STATS, Inc., the Rangers have 217 RBIs with two outs, second-most in the AL to Boston (227). Napoli has an 11-game hitting streak and is batting 14-for-45 (.311 average) with three homers and seven RBIs in that stretch.
* The Rangers got the benefit of a bad call in the third inning (meaning both teams got bad calls against them in the first three innings...see below). Kinsler hit a fly ball to right and Josh Reddick came in and caught the ball awkwardly with his glove near the ground. The umpire felt it was trapped and called it a hit, allowing runners to go to first and second. Texas took advantage as Elvis Andrus hit a single to left to score Craig Gentry. Kinsler was aggressive once he saw the throw come home and was able to get to third base. I'm not sure why Carl Crawford was throwing home with no chance to get the speedy Gentry.
* Don't overlook Gentry's walk. He fell behind 0-2 and then took four straight balls, some of them close, to work the walk.
* Andrus was caught between first and second after a pitch and alertly Jerrod Salaltamacchia threw to first base and caught Andrus in a rundown. The out helped end a chance for the Rangers to take a 2-0 lead because instead of Josh Hamilton hitting with a runner at third and one out needing a ground ball or fly ball to score him, it was two outs. Hamilton hit a fly ball to end the inning. Andrus may have thought Saltalamacchia was going to throw it back to the mound immediately and instead, he got caught too far off the bag.
* Napoli was hit on the wrist with one on and one out in the second, judging by the TV replays. But home plate umpire Paul Nauert said it hit his bat. Napoli kept showing Nauert his wrist and manager Ron Washington came out, probably with the hopes of getting the umpire to ask for help. It didn't work. Napoli ended up striking out and the Rangers didn't get a runner into scoring position in the inning.
* Erik Bedard was extremely slow on Monday. He was effective, but very slow. Maybe that kept the Rangers hitters from getting into a rhythm. He hit both corners and kept the ball down. The glacial pace did cause a lot of conversation in our in-game chat. Click here to check all of that out. Napoli finally got to Bedard, who he did not come back out for the seventh.
* Hamilton made a nice defensive play in the sixth, racing to a ball hit to left field by Marco Scutaro and diving to catch it. That prevented a leadoff hit.
* Wilson had a great fielding night. He gloved a hard-hit grounder low by Carl Crawford in the second and threw to first and then hustled off the mound to his right to get to a bouncer off the bat of Darnell McDonald and threw to first. He was in great PFP form.
* The Rangers bullpen did its job. Koji Uehara came in to get the final out of the seventh and then showed his usual fun excitement in the dugout afterward. Mike Adams got the ball in the eighth and needed 12 pitches (eight strikes) to retire the side, including two strikeouts. Neftali Feliz came in with a four-run lead to shut things down. He walked two batters (both on some close pitches) and needed 23 pitches to get through it.
* BTW, this was a big date in Rangers history. They scored 30 runs against Baltimore on this day in 2007 and Nolan Ryan got his 5,000th strikeout in 1989.