Final, Red Sox 7-5: Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless ninth inning, and the Red Sox have another come-from-behind victory.
The Red Sox trailed 5-2 going into the seventh inning, and Jonny Gomes chipped away at Houston’s lead with a two-out, two-run homer. The Sox entered the ninth inning trailing 5-4, and Stephen Drew delivered the game-winning blow.
David Ortiz singled to lead off the ninth inning for his fourth hit of the game, and Gomes worked a one-out walk. Drew then hammered a hanging curveball into the right field seats for a three-run homer to give the Red Sox a 7-5 lead and eventually a win.
Wednesday’s win gives the Red Sox their major league-leading 24th series win of the season. The Sox overcame a five-run deficit to earn a victory Tuesday.
The Red Sox will now head to Kansas City for four games against the Royals. They’ll do so riding high after another dramatic victory in Houston.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 7-5: Stephen Drew is quickly gaining a reputation as a clutch player for the Red Sox.
Drew, who has come up with some big hits recently, hammered a three-run homer into the right field seats with one out in the ninth inning to give the Red Sox a 7-5 lead.
David Ortiz started the ninth-inning rally with a leadoff single, giving the slugger four hits for the second straight game. In an interesting move, John Farrell then called upon rookie pitcher Drake Britton to pinch-run for Ortiz.
Jonny Gomes increased the threat by following Mike Carp’s flyout with a six-pitch walk. Josh Fields threw all offspeed stuff to Gomes, and he just missed with a 3-2 curveball.
Drew then stepped up and drove the second pitch he saw into the seats in right. Fields left a curveball about belt high, and Drew made him pay.
Koji Uehara will look to close out another come-from-behind victory for Boston. He has a 14-inning scoreless streak dating back to July 9.
End 8th, Astros 5-4: Junichi Tazawa tossed another quick inning, and the Red Sox come up needing at least one run to extend this game.
Jonny Gomes, who has been busy since shifting over to right field, recorded a putout for the first out of the eighth inning. Tazawa then struck out Brandon Barnes, and Jose Altuve grounded out to third base to end the inning.
David Ortiz, Mike Carp and Gomes are due up for Boston in the ninth. Let’s see if they can work some magic.
Mid 8th, Astros 5-4: The Red Sox will need some ninth-inning magic.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli and Dustin Pedroia went down in order in the eighth.
Ellsbury popped out to catcher Jason Castro in foul territory to begin the inning, and Napoli popped out to Brett Wallace down at first base for the second out. Dustin Pedroia grounded back to the mound to end the inning.
Junichi Tazawa, who enjoyed a very quick seventh inning, will be back out for some more work. He’ll try to keep the deficit at one run.
Boston is scheduled to send David Ortiz, Mike Carp and Jonny Gomes to the plate in the ninth inning.
End 7th, Astros 5-4: Junichi Tazawa tossed a quick, 1-2-3 seventh inning, and the Red Sox’ offense will come back up looking to keep its momentum going.
Jonny Gomes, who shifted to right field because of Shane Victorino’s ejection, made a very nice sliding grab for the first out of the seventh. He had to go a long way before hauling it in on the dirt in foul territory.
Gomes also recorded the second out, and Tazawa struck out Jake Elmore on three pitches to end the frame.
Mid 7th, Astros 5-4: Chia-Jen Lo struck out Brandon Snyder upon entering to end a lengthy seventh inning.
The strikeout came with runners at first and second, so it’s a big one. The Red Sox did chip away at their deficit, though, as Jonny Gomes launched a two-out, two-run homer to left field to make the score 5-4.
Junichi Tazawa will be the new Red Sox pitcher in the seventh inning after six innings from Ryan Dempster.
Gomes will shift over to right field with Shane Victorino getting ejected. Mike Carp will go from first base to left field, and Mike Napoli will enter the game as the new first baseman. Snyder, who pinch-hit for Brock Holt, stays in the game as the new third baseman.
Gomes now has home runs in back-to-back games, although Tuesday’s blast was a pinch-hit homer. Gomes actually has four pinch-hit home runs this season, which are tied for the second-most in Red Sox single-season history. The only player with more is Joe Cronin. Cronin, who had an illustrious managerial career as well, smacked an AL-record five pinch-hit bombs in 1943.
11:04 p.m., Astros 5-4: Travis Blackley replaced Josh Zeid following Jonny Gomes’ two-run tater. He failed to record an out.
Stephen Drew singled into center field, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia then worked a six-pitch walk.
Bo Porter will now make another pitching change. Chia-Jen Lo will be the new Houston hurler.
Brandon Snyder will pinch-hit for Brock Holt.
10:50 p.m., Astros 5-4: Josh Zeid got two quick outs in the seventh inning, but he’ll now exit after a two-run homer by Jonny Gomes.
10:44 p.m., Astros 5-2: Shane Victorino just got tossed.
Victorino appeared to be chirping at third base umpire Brian Knight from the dugout, and Knight was having none of it. He ejected Victorino, at which point The Flyin’ Hawaiian came out to try to further the conversation.
Victorino’s displeasure with Knight likely stems from the call the umpire made to end the sixth inning. Victorino tried to check his swing with the bases loaded, and Knight ruled that he went around.
It’s still a rather unusual ejection, however, as it comes an inning later with Victorino in the dugout. Victorino probably went and looked at the footage before returning to chirp at Knight.
End 6th, Astros 5-2: Not only did the Red Sox blow a chance to take a lead in the sixth inning, but they also allowed the Astros to grab control of the game.
Houston posted three runs in the sixth inning, and Boston’s resiliency will once again be tested over the final three innings.
Robbie Grossman, who homered back in the third inning to make the score 2-2, has become a thorn in Boston’s side. He drilled a double over Shane Victorino’s head to kick off Houston’s sixth-inning damage.
Grossman moved up to third base on a wild pitch, and he scored the go-ahead run when Jose Altuve ripped a hard line drive to third that ricocheted off Brock Holt’s glove.
The Astros weren’t finished, though, as Jason Castro followed Altuve’s RBI single with a double down into the right field corner. Altuve came all the way around from first base, and he got his hand in just ahead of Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s tag.
Marc Krauss added Houston’s fifth run with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Mid 6th, 2-2: The Red Sox squandered another great scoring chance in the sixth inning.
The Sox left the bases loaded, as Josh Zeid struck out Shane Victorino to end the inning. Victorino tried to check his swing on a pitch out of the strike zone, but third base umpire Brian Knight ruled that he went around.
The Astros used three pitchers in the inning. They walked three but also struck out three to keep the game tied at two apiece.
10:13 p.m., 2-2: Wesley Wright sandwiched another walk with two strikeouts, and the Astros are on the verge of getting out of a major jam.
Wright entered for Jarred Cosart and struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia swinging for the first out.
Brock Holt put up a nice, seven-pitch at-bat that culminated with a walk, and Wright then struck out Jacoby Ellsbury for the inning’s second out.
Josh Zeid will now enter with the bases loaded, two outs and Shane Victorino coming up.
10:01 p.m., 2-2: The Red Sox succeeded in elevating Jarred Cosart’s pitch count, and Bo Porter will now make a pitching change.
Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew both walked to begin the sixth inning, and the Astros will now turn to Wesley Wright with Boston threatening.
Cosart threw 100 pitches in his five-plus innings of work. The book isn’t yet closed on him, though.
End 5th, 2-2: Ryan Dempster enjoyed another nice inning in the fifth, and Robbie Grossman’s two-run homer remains one of the right-hander’s few mistakes.
Dempster tossed a 1-2-3 fifth, during which he needed just 11 pitches.
Matt Dominguez grounded back to the mound for the first out, and L.J. Hoes flied out to right field for the second out. It looked like Shane Victorino had a hard time seeing Hoes’ liner to right, but he recovered in time to make the play.
Dempster ended the inning by striking out Jake Elmore. The righty went with a splitter low and away to finish off the K.
Mid 5th, 2-2: The Red Sox squandered a good scoring chance in the fifth inning.
Shane Victorino lifted a fly ball to deep left field to begin the inning. Like Drew’s fly ball in the fourth inning, it died. Robbie Grossman made the catch a few feet in front of the warning track.
Dustin Pedroia then walked before David Ortiz picked up his third hit of the ballgame. Ortiz, who went 4-for-4 with a walk Tuesday, has now reached base in his last eight plate appearances.
Pedroia went from first to third on Ortiz’s third single of the night, but he was never able to score. Mike Carp grounded to second base, where Jose Altuve started a 4-6-3, inning-ending double play.
End 4th, 2-2: Jason Castro singled to lead off the bottom of the fourth, but a double play led to a quick inning.
Castro singled into left field, but Marc Krauss grounded the second pitch he saw to Mike Carp at first base. Carp fired to Stephen Drew at second base for the first out, and Drew fired back to Ryan Dempster, who was covering first base, for the second out.
Dempster capped the scoreless inning by striking out Brett Wallace on three pitches.
Dempster needed just eight pitches to get through the fourth inning, and he has now thrown 58 pitches overall.
Mid 4th, 2-2: The Red Sox stranded a pair in the fourth inning.
Jonny Gomes led off the frame with a strikeout. He didn’t agree with the call, but it didn’t matter to home plate umpire Mark Carlson.
Stephen Drew drilled a fly ball to deep right field. It looked like it had a chance to leave the yard off the bat, but L.J. Hoes eventually camped under it a couple of steps in front of the warning track.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, whose double helped get the Red Sox on the scoreboard back in the second inning, tried to spark something with two down in the fourth. He beat the shift with a single into left field, and Brock Holt followed with a five-pitch walk.
Jarred Cosart then faced Jacoby Ellsbury, during which he even called the Astros’ pitching coach to the mound. It was a strange sight — as you generally don’t see pitchers motion to the dugout like that — but the strategy paid off. Cosart struck out Ellsbury to end the inning.
End 3rd, 2-2: One swing later, we’re all tied up.
After L.J. Hoes grounded back to the mound for the first out, Jake Elmore ripped a ball down the first base line. A fan reached over and grabbed it, resulting in a ground-rule double.
Robbie Grossman then hit his second home run in as many nights. Ryan Dempster caught too much of the plate with a fastball, and Grossman yanked it into the right-field seats for a two-run blast.
Brandon Barnes and Jose Altuve both grounded to Stephen Drew at short to end the inning, but Grossman’s homer has everything knotted up at Minute Maid Park.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 2-0: David Ortiz went 4-for-4 and reached base five times in Tuesday’s win. He’s 2-for-2 with two singles in this game.
Ortiz ripped a single into right-center field with one out in the third inning. Dustin Pedroia, who reached when his line drive back up the middle deflected off Jarred Cosart’s glove, went from first to third.
Mike Carp dug in with runners at the corners and hit a double-play ball to first base. Brett Wallace stepped on the bag before firing to second base, and a heads-up baserunning play helped Boston score its second run. Ortiz stopped halfway between first and second and got into a rundown long enough for Pedroia to score.
End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Brett Wallace gave the Astros their first baserunner with two down, but Ryan Dempster worked his second straight scoreless inning to begin his outing.
Dempster began the second inning with back-to-back strikeouts. Jason Castro went down swinging at a splitter outside, and Marc Krauss went down looking at a pitch near the top of the strike zone.
Wallace lined a 2-2 fastball into center field to try to get something going with two outs. Dempster bounced back to retire Matt Dominguez on a lazy fly ball to center field.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Brock Holt keeps doing the little things well.
Holt stepped up with runners at second and third and one out in the second inning, and he worked himself into a 3-1 count before grounding to second base. It wasn’t anything flashy, but it allowed Jonny Gomes to come across with the first run of the game.
Gomes reached via a walk, and he went from first to third when Jarrod Saltalamacchia hooked a double into the right field corner. Jarred Cosart got ahead of Saltalamacchia, 0-2, but a 1-2 fastball tailed back over the inner half of the plate, and Salty put a good swing on it.
Jacoby Ellsbury, who’s been showing much more power of late, threatened to pepper the right-center field gap with two outs, but L.J. Hoes made a very nice running grab to rob Ellsbury of extra bases and the Red Sox of another run.
End 1st, 0-0: Ryan Dempster needed just 10 pitches to shut down the Astros in order in the first inning.
Dempster struck out Robbie Grossman for the inning’s first out. The right-hander went with back-to-back fastballs to set up an offspeed offering on the outside corner that caught Grossman looking.
Brandon Barnes grounded out to short for the second out, and Jose Altuve flied out to Shane Victorino on the first pitch he saw to end the inning.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Teams have had a hard time solving Jarred Cosart thus far. The Red Sox picked up a couple of hits in the first inning, but the 23-year-old worked through a scoreless frame.
Shane Victorino followed Jacoby Ellsbury’s leadoff groundout with a single into center field. He then danced around a bit on the bases and even took off for second on a 2-2 pitch to Dustin Pedroia, but Pedroia ended up flying out to the warning track in right field.
Victorino did move up a station, however, when David Ortiz beat the shift for a two-out single into left field. Neither runner scored, as Mike Carp broke his bat while bouncing back to the mound for the inning’s final out.
Cosart is making his fifth career major league start, and he’s been very impressive through the first four. Cosart pitched eight shutout innings in his major league debut on July 12, and he has since tallied three straight outings with one earned run allowed.
8:10 p.m.: Jarred Cosart’s first pitch is a strike, and we’re underway.
8:08 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury will be the first batter to dig in against Jarred Cosart, and he’s really been putting together an excellent season.
Ellsbury, who blasted two home runs in Tuesday’s win, is hitting .350 since May 26, which is good for second in the American League behind Mike Trout (.353).
Six of Ellsbury’s seven home runs this season have come over his last 26 games, so we’re starting to see a power surge as well.
7:57 p.m.: Much has been made about how the Red Sox matched their 2012 win total with their 69th victory of the season Tuesday. It’s really an amazing thing to consider, though.
7:51 p.m.: As you’ve probably noticed, Mike Napoli will receive the night off Wednesday, and Mike Carp will play first base and bat fifth.
Napoli has really been struggling of late. He’s hitless in his last 14 at-bats, and he’s hitting just .203 since the All-Star break.
“Right now, he’s grinding, and as a result, his swing has gotten a little bit longer at times, and he’s having to commit to above-average velocity,” manager John Farrell told reporters prior to Wednesday’s game.
Farrell said Napoli has been trying to make offensive adjustments, including having more of a direct path through the point of contact. The Red Sox skipper thus decided to give Napoli a day off his feet, noting that the slugger has been “grinding.”
One positive bit of news surrounding Napoli is that his hip condition, which he was diagnosed with during the offseason, hasn’t worsened at all.
“I feel like I’m going to be healthy and everything is fine,” Napoli told WEEI.com before Tuesday’s game. “I took another MRI and it was exactly identical to my last MRI. That was great news.”
7:37 p.m.: Ryan Lavarnway had a rough night behind the plate Tuesday. Hopefully, it’s all behind him, as the Red Sox catcher is celebrating a birthday. Lavarnway turned 26 years old today.
7:30 p.m.: Lineups are here!
Red Sox (69-46)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Carp, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Brock Holt, 3B
Ryan Dempster, RHP (6-8, 4.54 ERA)
Robbie Grossman, LF
Brandon Barnes, CF
Jose Altuve, 2B
Jason Castro, C
Marc Krauss, DH
Brett Wallace, 1B
Matt Dominguez, 3B
L.J. Hoes, RF
Jake Elmore, SS
Jarred Cosart, RHP (1-0, 0.96 ERA)
6:45 p.m.: The Red Sox made a roster move Wednesday.
Matt Thornton, who exited Sunday’s game after feeling tightness in his side, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right oblique strain. Pedro Beato has been recalled to take Thornton’s place on the active roster, and he will be available for Wednesday’s game.
Thornton has a 2.16 ERA (two earned runs in 8 1/3 innings) in 10 games since joining the Red Sox.
8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox will look to get off to a better start Wednesday. However, if the end result is the same as Tuesday’s, Boston will happily take a few hiccups in the early going.
Ryan Lavarnway was charged with four passed balls in the first inning of Tuesday’s game, forcing the Red Sox to overcome a five-run deficit. To their credit, the Red Sox didn’t panic and eventually pulled out a victory, once again showing the character of this year’s club.
“This past week, we pretty much have three or four wins coming from behind,” David Ortiz said after Tuesday’s win. “That tells you this is a team, doesn’t matter what the situation is, we’re going to fight through it. We’re going to try to stay on top of our game and come back and make things happen.”
The Red Sox’ 15-run outburst Tuesday came a day after Boston was shut out by rookie Brett Oberholtzer and Co. Jacoby Ellsbury led the way with a pair of home runs, three RBIs and four runs scored, while David Ortiz collected four hits in the bounce-back win.
Ryan Dempster will look to make it two in a row against the Astros on Wednesday. He got lit up in his last start on Thursday, although Boston won that game in dramatic, walk-off fashion.
Wednesday’s first pitch in Houston is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. Tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com’s live blog.