The Houston Astros’ bats woke up Saturday and led the way in an 8-3 win over the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park.
Houston collected 12 hits and used a fifth-inning grand slam by Colby Rasmus to break the game open. The victory moves the Astros to 6-12, while the loss drops the Red Sox below .500 at 8-9.
Here’s a recap of Boston’s defeat in Houston.
GAME IN A WORD
Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz didn’t make too many mistakes, but the fastball Rasmus took deep for a grand slam wasn’t a very good pitch. Sometimes it only takes one mishap to cost you a game.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
The Red Sox had just trimmed the Astros’ lead to 5-3 in the eighth inning when Jackie Bradley Jr. stepped up to the plate with runners on second and third and two outs. He flied out to right field to end the inning.
ON THE BUMP
— Buchholz gave up hits to the first two Houston batters, but he retired the next three to exit the first inning.
The Astros equalized in the second frame. Marwin Gonzalez singled, and Luis Valbuena moved him to third with a double. An RBI groundout knotted the score at 1, but Buchholz escaped without further damage.
Buchholz rebounded well in the third with a perfect inning, including two strikeouts. He did the same in the fourth, upping his strikeout total to five.
Buchholz’s worst inning was the fifth. A walk, an infield single and a hit batter loaded the bases, and Rasmus belted a grand slam to right field to give Houston a 5-1 lead. Buchholz was one strike away from ending the inning, but he left a fastball over the plate to Rasmus.
Buchholz started the sixth inning and departed after recording two outs. His final line: 5 2/3 innings, six hits, five runs (all earned), one walk and six strikeouts to drop his record to 0-2.
— Tommy Layne relieved Buchholz and struck out Jason Castro to end the sixth.
— Noe Ramirez began the seventh inning for Boston, but he quickly departed after giving up a single, a walk and another single. He was replaced by Roenis Elias, who walked one and recorded a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning without any runs allowed. It also marked Elias’ major league debut.
Elias remained in the game to begin the eighth, and he gave up back-to-back doubles to Gonzalez and Valbuena, which increased Houston’s lead to 6-3. Altuve also hit a double, scoring Valbuena to make it 7-3 Astros. Rasmus hit Houston’s fourth double of the inning to score Altuve before Elias finally got out of the frame. Elias gave up four hits, three earned runs and two walks in 1 2/3 innings.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Mookie Betts led off the game with a single and later scored Boston’s first run. It was his only hit, as he finished 1 for 5.
— Dustin Pedroia earned a first-inning walk. He singled in the third and doubled in the sixth to finish 2 for 4 with a walk and a run scored.
— David Ortiz hit an RBI single in the first inning. He finished 2 for 4 and struck out once.
— Brock Holt hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth to score Boston’s second run. He finished 1 for 3 with an RBI and a strikeout.
— Travis Shaw went 1 for 4 with a strikeout.
— Hanley Ramirez was 0 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
— Chris Young and Jackie Bradley Jr. went 0 for 3 and 0 for 4, respectively. Josh Rutledge pinch-hit for Young in the eighth and smacked a double to left field to score Ortiz.
TWEET OF THE DAY
The Red Sox travel to Atlanta after this series in Houston.
The Red Sox and Astros wrap up their three-game series Sunday night at 8:05 p.m. ET on ESPN. Henry Owens (Boston) versus Scott Feldman (Houston) is the expected pitching matchup.
Thumbnail photo via Thomas B. Shea/USA TODAY Sports Images