Red Sox Notes: Allen Webster Showing Improvement With Each Start

allen websterBOSTON — The Red Sox began their stretch of 11 home games in 11 days Thursday night by putting on their most impressive one-inning performance of the season.

Boston plated seven runs in the sixth inning after falling behind early and rode that wave to a 9-4 victory over the Houston Astros at Fenway Park.

It was the Sox’s fourth win in a row and sixth in their last eight, and there was plenty to dissect afterward. Take a look at a few notes from the series opener:

– Eight of the nine Red Sox batters recorded at least one hit in the game, and the only exception, Yoenis Cespedes, reached on a fielder’s choice and scored in Boston’s marathon sixth inning. Four Red Sox tallied multiple hits, and Dustin Pedroia chipped in a game-high three to finish 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

– Red Sox starter Allen Webster was not at his sharpest, surrendering runs in three of his six innings of work, but Boston’s offense did more than enough to give the rookie his third win in four starts this season. Webster struggled to get early outs — leadoff men reached four times against him — and his command was an issue his first time through the lineup. The 24-year-old had a way of not letting rough innings spiral out of control, though.

The Astros touched him for multiple runs in an inning just once, via a two-run homer by Matt Dominguez in the fourth, and each of his frames ended with three consecutive outs. He faced the minimum in each of his last two before being lifted after the Red Sox had taken the lead.

“I thought Webby got on a little bit of a roll,” manager John Farrell said after the game. “And then the long inning — I felt like it was time to get him out of there and stay on a positive note for him.”

– Daniel Nava had himself an all-around solid night, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and a run scored while also turning in the play of the night in right field.

With men on second and third with two outs in the seventh inning and the Red Sox holding a four-run lead, Nava hauled in a Jose Altuve fly ball and fired a strike to catcher Christian Vazquez to nail Jake Marisnick at the plate and end the inning. It was Nava’s sixth outfield assist of the season, good for second on the team behind Jackie Bradley Jr. (13).

– Alex Wilson’s return to the big leagues had an underwhelming beginning but a crowd-pleasing conclusion. Wilson, who was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday after starter Anthony Ranaudo was optioned, relieved Webster to begin the seventh inning and promptly allowed a single and a double to put men in scoring position with no outs. After a mound visit, he responded by striking out Robbie Grossman looking, which was followed by the Nava play detailed above.

– Vazquez nearly picked Dexter Fowler off at first base in the eighth inning, but Fowler pulled out some nifty hand maneuvers to slide in around Mike Napoli’s tag.

– Cespedes left his second straight game after fouling a pitch off his shin in the seventh inning. He stayed in for another at-bat (Farrell said he did not want to come out of the game) before being lifted after the eighth. Farrell said he expects the outfielder to be ready to go Friday night but that the team will reevaluate him beforehand.

– Farrell also said he expects Allen Craig, who took batting practice and worked out pregame, to begin his rehab assignment either Sunday or Monday.

Photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images

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