Red Sox-Astros Live: Christian Vazquez, Sox Roll To 8-3 Win In Series Opener

Daniel Nava, David OrtizFinal, Red Sox 8-3: Edward Mujica worked around a couple of hits in the ninth inning to close out the ballgame.

John Lackey becomes the first 10-game winner on the Red Sox. He went six innings and received plenty of offensive support.

Christian Vazquez led the way with a big game, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored.

Brock Holt, Daniel Nava and Jackie Bradley Jr. produced two hits apiece as the Red Sox collected 12 as a team.

The Sox broke the game open with a five-run fifth inning. Vazquez delivered a two-run double and David Ortiz cleared the bases with a three-run double.

The Red Sox now have won three straight and appear to be generating some momentum before going into the All-Star break.

Mid 9th, Red Sox 8-3: Dustin Pedroia led off the ninth inning with a walk. He never made it beyond first base.

David Ortiz hit a towering fly ball to right field. It looked like it had a chance to exit the yard, as L.J. Hoes started back toward the warning track. Hoes eventually came back in to make the catch.

Mike Carp hit a ball right on the screws. Second baseman Jose Altuve, one of the game’s most underrated players, made the catch.

Daniel Nava flied out to end the inning.

Edward Mujica will pitch the bottom of the ninth inning with Boston holding a five-run lead.

End 8th, Red Sox 8-3: Chris Carter smoked another homer.

Carter, who homered in the sixth inning, jacked a solo blast off the left field foul pole in the eighth inning. The second home run was his 19th of the season. He hit it off Craig Breslow.

Breslow also issued a walk to Robbie Grossman in the eighth inning before retiring the side.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 8-2: The Red Sox went down in order in the eighth inning.

David Martinez handled Stephen Drew, Christian Vazquez and Brock Holt in order.

Vazquez had been 3-for-3 before striking out in the eighth.

Craig Breslow will pitch the bottom of the eighth.

End 7th, Red Sox 8-2: The seventh inning ended with a wild play.

Matt Dominguez hit a ground ball to the right side. Mike Carp made a diving stop and attempted to flip to Burke Badenhop, who covered first base.

Carp couldn’t handle the baseball, so his flip actually was a ground ball to Badenhop. Somehow, the pitcher reached over into foul territory and barehanded the ball while keeping his foot on the bag.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 8-2: David Martinez kept the Red Sox in check in the seventh inning.

Daniel Nava and Jackie Bradley Jr. both grounded out. Xander Bogaerts struck out.

Bogaerts is having very rough night offensively. He’s 0-for-4 with two double plays, a strikeout and a popout into foul territory with two runners in scoring position.

Burke Badenhop will pitch the seventh inning for Boston, meaning John Lackey’s night is over.

Lackey allowed two earned runs on four hits and five walks over six innings. He struck out three.

End 6th, Red Sox 8-2: Chris Carter ran into one in the sixth inning.

Carter, one of the biggest all-or-nothing hitters in baseball, ripped one over the left field wall for his 18th home run of the season.

John Lackey issued a walk to Enrique Hernandez and surrendered a single to Marwin Gonzalez before finishing off the inning.

That’ll certainly be it for Lackey, as he’s up to 117 pitches.

In an ironic twist, Christian Vazquez — a defensive-minded catcher having a big offensive game — dropped a ball in foul territory in the sixth inning. It appeared to come on the transfer from the glove to his throwing hand, but it still was interesting, nonetheless.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 8-1: The Red Sox have broken this one wide open.

Boston knocked starter Scott Feldman from the game in the sixth inning en route to posting five runs.

Daniel Nava and Jackie Bradley Jr. began the inning with back-to-back singles. Right fielder L.J. Hoes bobbled Bradley’s hit, enabling both men to advance into scoring position.

Christian Vazquez, making his second major league start, is having a huge game. He drilled a two-run double with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. Vazquez now is 3-for-3 with two doubles and three RBIs.

The Astros turned to the bullpen after Vazquez’s sixth-inning double, but the Red Sox weren’t done doing damage.

Brock Holt walked to reload the bases. David Ortiz cleared the bags with a double to the wall in right-center field.

End 5th, Red Sox 3-1: Jason Castro dropped a two-out double into right-center field. John Lackey made sure it didn’t matter.

Castro hit a ball toward the right-center field gap. Brock Holt slid, but it bounced in front of him and past him, enabling Castro to grab two bases.

Lackey retired Matt Domiguez on a ground ball to third base to end the inning.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 3-1: Scott Feldman settled down for a quick, 1-2-3 fifth inning.

Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Mike Carp went down in order.

Pedroia struck out, Ortiz popped out and Carp grounded to first base.

Pedroia wasn’t happy after going down looking. He could be seen yelling in the dugout.

End 4th, Red Sox 3-1: The fourth inning was a grind for John Lackey. The Astros came away with their first hit and their first run.

Lackey walked Jon Singleton with one out in the fourth. Red Sox manager John Farrell wasn’t happy with the strike zone and let home plate umpire Alan Porter know it from the top step of the dugout.

Chris Carter popped out, but Lackey wasn’t out of the woods. The right-hander was called for a balk, which allowed Singleton to move up into scoring position.

Robbie Grossman walked and Enrique Hernandez followed with an RBI single into center field. Jackie Bradley Jr. probably wouldn’t have been able to throw out Singleton, but he also didn’t get a very good handle on the baseball.

It looked like Lackey and catcher Christian Vazquez struggled a bit to get on the same page in the fourth inning. Such are the growing pains of having a rookie catcher.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 3-0: Who are these guys?

The Red Sox’s offense produced another run in the third inning. The unit now has eight hits.

Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with a single but was wiped off the bases when Xander Bogaerts grounded into his second double play of the game. Bogaerts is responsible for four of Boston’s 12 outs.

Stephen Drew lined a two-out triple into the right-center field gap.

Christian Vazquez, who collected his first major league hit in the third inning, produced his first big league RBI in the fourth inning. He lined a ground-rule double over the head of right fielder L.J. Hoes.

End 3rd, Red Sox 2-0: John Lackey has issued two walks, but the Astros still are looking for their first hit.

Marwin Gonzalez tried to bunt his way on in the third inning. It rolled up the first base line, but Lackey made an excellent play to field it and flip to first base from his glove for the first out.

L.J. Hoes worked a walk, but Lackey rebounded to retire Jose Altuve and Jason Castro.

Altuve nearly beat out a ground ball to third base but was called out on an extremely close play. Castro struck out swinging.

Mid 3rd, Red Sox 2-0: Brock Holt has a couple of extra-base hits in this game. His third-inning triple knocked in Christian Vazquez.

Vazquez collected his first major league hit — a single into left-center field — with one out in the third inning.

Holt, whose family is in attendance in Houston, provided a treat, sending a ball to the wall in right field. It hit off the fence and Holt hustled his way to three bases.

The Red Sox weren’t done, as Dustin Pedroia followed with an RBI double into the left field corner.

End 2nd, 0-0: John Lackey tossed a 1-2-3 second inning.

Chris Carter, Robbie Grossman and Enrique Hernandez went down in order.

Lackey struck out Carter and Grossman. He used the cutter to record both strikeouts.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: The Red Sox made a little noise in the second inning but again couldn’t scratch across a run. Xander Bogaerts’ woes continued.

Mike Carp led off with a walk and Daniel Nava followed with a single, giving the Sox two on with nobody out.

Jackie Bradley Jr., batting sixth for the first time, struck out. Bogaerts then grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.

The Red Sox continue to stay committed to Bogaerts, but his struggles keep reaching new lows.

End 1st, 0-0: John Lackey overcame a two-out walk to work a scoreless first inning.

Lackey recorded two quick outs, as Jose Altuve lined out to right field and Jason Castro hit a lazy grounder to second base.

Matt Dominguez worked a seven-pitch walk — something that frustrated Lackey — before Jon Singleton flied out to end the inning.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Brock Holt led off the game with a double. A poor decision cost the Red Sox.

Dustin Pedroia flied out for the first out of the inning. Left fielder Enrique Hernandez made the catch, which was somewhat strange considering the ball was hit to center field.

Overaggressiveness killed the Red Sox after that. Holt unsuccessfully attempted to steal third base with David Ortiz batting.

Holt trying to steal third doesn’t make sense at all, especially with Ortiz at the dish. The Red Sox must do a better job of taking calculated risks, as their baserunning of late has been borderline reckless.

Ortiz flied out to the power alley in left-center field to end the inning.

8:12 p.m.: Boston’s final series before the All-Star break officially is underway.

8:10 p.m.: The official word from the Astros regarding George Springer’s status is that he’s dealing with right knee discomfort.

Springer is listed as day-to-day.

7:37 p.m.: George Springer was scratched from Houston’s lineup because of “general soreness.”

According to Astros manager Bo Porter, it’s the result of Springer colliding with the wall during Houston’s series against the Texas Rangers.

Springer, considered a budding star, is hitting .238 with 19 homers and 50 RBIs through his first 74 major league games this season.

7:30 p.m.: If you’re looking for an indication of Jackie Bradley Jr.’s offensive improvement, look no further than Friday’s lineup — although Xander Bogaerts’ and Stephen Drew’s struggles certainly are factors, too.

Bradley, who typically bats at the bottom of the order, is batting sixth for the first time in his career. Mike Carp, who provided a walk-off single Thursday, will make his first start since returning from the disabled list and bat cleanup.

Christian Vazquez, who was called up Wednesday when the Red Sox designated A.J. Pierzynski for assignment, will be back behind the plate. He’ll bat ninth.

George Springer, Houston’s stud outfielder, has been scratched from the lineup. Stay tuned for more info, especially you fantasy players.

Friday’s complete lineups are below.

Boston Red Sox (41-51)
Brock Holt, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Carp, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
Christian Vazquez, C

John Lackey, RHP (9-6, 3.84)

Houston Astros (39-54)
Jose Altuve, 2B
Jason Castro, C
Matt Dominguez, 3B
Jon Singleton, 1B
Chris Carter, DH
Robbie Grossman, CF
Enrique Hernandez, LF
Marwin Gonzalez, SS
L.J. Hoes, RF

Scott Feldman, RHP (4-5, 3.86 ERA)

7:15 p.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox still are 10 games below .500. One must crawl before walking or running, though, so the club certainly can take solace in how it concluded its recent 10-game homstand.

The Red Sox went just 3-7 on the homestand but finished it off with back-to-back walk-off wins over the Chicago White Sox. Brock Holt delivered the game-winning hit Wednesday and Mike Carp played the role of hero Thursday, although both were team efforts.

Maybe the Red Sox are benefiting from some youthful energy. Maybe A.J. Pierzynski’s departure was an eye-opener. Or maybe the last two games simply were an aberration and the team still isn’t going anywhere. Whatever the case, this weekend’s series against the Houston Astros — Boston’s final series before the All-Star break — is important.

John Lackey will take the ball in Friday’s series opener. Lackey has had a good first half, but he’s been roughed up over his last few starts. The right-hander enters Friday’s start having surrendered at least four runs over his last three outings.

Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. Tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com’s live blog.

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