The Boston Red Sox finally snapped their two-game losing streak as they defeated the Houston Astros, 12-8, in a high-scoring affair at Fenway Park on Thursday night.
J.D. Martinez and Christian Arroyo led the way for the Red Sox, who moved to within a game of leaders Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East standings.
The Astros were well on their way to completing the three-game sweep after leadoff hitter Jose Altuve blasted a home run at the top of the sixth inning to give Houston an 8-7 advantage.
Boston turns things around in the sixth inning
He homered off Darwinzon Hernandez’s pitch that was just 0.85 feet above the ground, the lowest pitch hit for a home run in the majors since the start of 2018, according to MLB Statcast.
However, that lead was short-lived as the Red Sox staged a comeback at the bottom half of the inning as the wind started to wreak havoc with the play.
Kiké Hernández led off with a double off Blake Taylor (0-1) and then scored on Martinez’s fly ball to deep right, after Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker dropped the sacrifice fly.
Houston’s misery continued as after Enoli Paredes loaded the bases with a walk to Hunter Renfroe; he hit Christian Vazquez to give Boston a 9-8 lead.
Christian Arroyo doubled that advantage with an RBI walk moments later before Bobby Dalbec delivered a two-run double off left-hander Brooks Raley that all but sealed the Astros’ fate in this game. Adam Ottavino, Josh Taylor, and Matt Barnes then each threw scoreless innings at the end to give the Red Sox the victory in the series finale.
Quite concerning for the Red Sox was the performance of starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez. He looked out of sorts against the Astros, allowing six runs on six hits in just 4 2/3 innings of action.
Fortunately for Rodriguez, Zack Greinke also wasn’t lights out in his starting stint for the Astros. He allowed four runs and seven hits over three innings of play.
Also helping Rodriguez’s cause was that the Red Sox managed to produce one of their best offensive performances of the season. Christian Arroyo went deep with a three-run drive in this game while J.D. Martinez recorded his 13th homer of the season.
Upcoming opponents for the Red Sox and Astros
The Astros now head to Minnesota as they continue their road trip with a matchup against the Twins. Starting for Houston in the series opener is right-hander Jose Urquidy (4-3, 3.76 ERA). This will be Urquidy’s first start since surrendering six runs and nine hits over 4 1/3 innings in Saturday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
He will face Minnesota right-hander Matt Shoemaker who’s coming off the toughest start of his professional career. In the game against the Royals last Friday, Shoemaker allowed nine runs (eight earned) while recording just one out. He has now allowed 14 runs (13 earned) over his past two outings, leading many to question his spot in the rotation.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, will next face the Toronto Blue Jays, and Garrett Richards (4-4, 3.88 ERA) will be their starter in the series opener. He has been in fine form of late, allowing three earned runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts. The tall right-hander has already squared off with Toronto twice this season, going 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA. Richards has struggled at Fenway, though, notching a 6.38 ERA in four starts this season.
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