ARLINGTON, Texas, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Paul Byrd gave up three hits in 6 2/3 scoreless innings Sunday to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 7-2 victory against the Texas Rangers.
Since Boston obtained the 37-year-old right-hander from Cleveland Aug. 12, he is 4-1 in five starts and Sunday's victory was his fourth straight winning decision.
David Ortiz and Jason Bay homered. One of Ortiz's two hits was a two-run fifth-inning blast and Bay also had two hits, one a solo homer in the eighth.
Four others knocked in one run, including Coco Crisp, who had two hits for the Red Sox, who closed within 1 1/2 games of first-place Tampa Bay in the AL East.
The Red Sox and the Rays open a critical three-game set in Boston Monday.
Texas got two hits and two RBI from Taylor Teagarden, including an eighth-inning solo homer. Nelson Cruz also had two hits for the Rangers, who have lost two of three.
The losing pitcher was starter Brandon McCarthy (1-1).
The loss, coupled with the Los Angeles Angels' 3-2 win over Chicago Sunday, reduced the LA's magic number to three for clinching the AL West title.