Texas Rangers Ian Kinsler is congratulated by teammate Elvis Andrus (1) after his three run home run against the Boston Red Sox in the fifth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday June 5, 2009.  At left is Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Fenway Park had been very kind to the Boston Red Sox this season. They had also won their last 8 games against the Texas Rangers there as well. But Kevin Millwood and Ian Kinsler made sure that changed tonight.

Millwood threw seven strong innings and Kinsler hit a 3-run homer to help the Rangers to a 5-1 win over the Red Sox in front of 37,519 on a rainy night for baseball at the Fens.

The loss for the Red Sox (32-23) drops them to a 1/2 game behind the now first place in the AL East New York Yankees who were rained out. It also ends a 4-game winning streak. The Rangers improve to 32-22 and stay 3 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West.

Boston Red Sox starter Brad Penny rubs his head after giving up a three run home run to Texas Rangers Ian Kinsler in the fifth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday June 5, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Brad Penny started this one for the Red Sox and looked the best he’s been all year for four innings. Then things went south for him in the 5th. He went 5 2/3 innings, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5.

The Red Sox bullpen was rock solid once again.

Daniel Bard struck out 2 in 1 1/3 innings while Manny Delcarmen was perfect in his inning. Takashi Saito worked the 9th and allowed a hit while striking out 1.

Millwood allowed 1 run (unearned) on 7 hits and 4 walks while recording 5 strikeouts. Everyday Eddie Guardardo struck out 1 in his inning of work while Darren O’Day walked one and struck out 1 in the 9th.

J.D. Drew was an on-base machine tonight as he was 2-for-3 with 2 walks. Jason Bay, Mike Lowell, David Ortiz, Jason Varitek and Jacoby Ellsbury had the other hits for the Red Sox tonight with Big Papi driving in the only run.

The Red Sox stranded three base runners in the first two innings and left two more on in the 3rd.

Dustin Pedroia lined out to left and Drew reached on an infield single. After Kevin Youkilis flew out to right, Bay stroked a double to deep left with Drew stopping at third. They were both left stranded there as Lowell grounded out to third.

Through the first four innings, Penny had allowed a first inning walk to Hank Blalock and infield single to Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the 3rd. Things changed though in the 5th.

He started the inning with a strikeout of former Red Sox OF David Murphy. Marlon Byrd reached on an infield single and Chris Davis singled to right. Penny got Saltalamacchia to fly out to right for the second out. He got to 3-2 on Elvis Andrus, who singled when the ball went under the glove of a diving Julio Lugo to drive in Byrd and put the Rangers out front 1-0.

Texas Rangers' Ian Kinsler follows through on his three run home run against Boston Red Sox starter Brad Penny in the fifth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday June 5, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Penny then fell behind Kinsler 2-0 and missed his location with a fastball that Kinsler planted in the Green Monster seats for a 3-run homer and a 4-0 Rangers lead.

Penny walked Blalock to start the 6th and then got Nelson Cruz to line out and he struck out Murphy. Marlon Byrd singled Blalock over to second. Davis brought in Blalock with a ground rule double to push the Rangers lead to 5-0 and end Penny’s outing.

Bard came in for Penny and uncorked a wild pitch. Fortunately for him, he got a good bounce off the backstop and Varitek’s throw to Bard at the plate was just in time to get Byrd to end the inning.

Millwood was back out in the 8th inning and began to tire as Bay reached on an error by Davis at first base and then walked Lowell. Big Papi chased Millwood from the game with a single to right field that scored Bay to cut the lead to 5-1.

Guardado came in and struck out Varitek and got Ellsbury to fly out to left. Rocco Baldelli pinch-hit for Lugo and grounded into a fielder’s choice.

The Red Sox tried to rally in the 9th but were thwarted after the first two runners reached via walks.

After five great outings from the starters on the road, it just wasn’t meant to be for Penny tonight. He lost his focus in the 5th and that cost him the game.

These same two teams are back at again tomorrow night. Jon Lester will look to try to get the Red Sox back in the win column. He’ll be opposed by Derek Holland.

Notes and Musings:

Texas Rangers @ Boston Red Sox 6.5.09 box score

Former Red Sox Vice President of Media Relations John Blake is back in Boston this weekend as he is now serving as the Rangers Executive Vice President of Communications.

Coming into tonight’s game, Boston’s bullpen owns a 1.90 ERA (13 ER/61.2 IP) in 23 games beginning May 10. They lead the Majors with a 2.82 ERA (51 ER/162.2 IP) overall and rank among A.L. leaders in opponents batting average (1st, .236), fewest home runs allowed (1st, 12), saves (2nd, 16), winning percentage (3rd, .538, 7-6), fewest walks (T-3rd, 66) and strikeouts (5th, 138).

Brad Penny was once again denied the 100th win of his career. Tim Wakefield was the last pitcher to earn his 100th career win in a Red Sox uniform, doing so on August 11, 2002 vs. Minnesota.

Today, Double-A Portland Sea Dogs outfielder Aaron Bates was named the Eastern League Player of the Month for May. Bates hit .370 (40-for-108) with 7 doubles, 6 home runs, 28 RBI, 22 runs scored, 10 walks, a .456 on-base percentage and a .602 slugging percentage in 28 games during the month. The 25 year old reached base in all but 2 of the 28 games he played in during the month and collected multiple hits on 14 occasions.

The Red Sox bench and bullpen apparently have made some t-shirts which say “The Rescue Squad”. I want one.