BOSTON -- First Impressions from the Boston Red Sox' 12-5 win over the Texas Rangers:
* Rick Porcello righted himself after the first.
Porcello needed 34 pitches to get through the first inning, during which he allowed four runs.
But over the next five innings, Porcello kept the Rangers off the scoreboard and averaged just under 14 pitches per inning. Per usual, Porcello allowed his share of hits -- 12 in six innings -- because he's a pitch-to-contact guy who doesn't miss a lot of bats (just three strikeouts).
But after the bullpen was forced to get 12 outs Sunday and 14 on Saturday night, the Red Sox needed some length from Porcello and he gave it to them while buying time for his teammates to come back.
* Hanley Ramirez has turned the power back on.
Ramirez has just eight homers at the halfway point, but in recent weeks, he's at least supplying some extra-base pop.
Ramirez had two doubles Monday, and has five doubles in the last three games.
Moreover, his slugging percentage, which had been as low as .377 as recently as June 21, is now up a more respectable .438.
That's not exactly what you might expect from a No. 5 hitter in a high-scoring lineup, but it is evidence that Ramirez has figured some things out at the plate and is driving the ball with far more consistency.
He's also knocked in nine runs in his last 11 games.
* It's tough to trust Koji Uehara in a close game.
Uehara allowed a solo homer to the first hitter he faced in the eighth. Rougned Odor hit a -- you guessed it -- a split-finger fastball into the Monster Seats.
It was the seventh homer allowed in 32 1/3 innings by Uehara this season, two more than he allowed all of last season. And, of course, we're one game past the halfway point of the season.
On the Red Sox pitching staff, the only three pitchers who've allowed more homers are all starters.
And it's worse than it looks: all seven of those homers have come in Uehara's last 18 appearances.
Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam