Houston has not been kind to the Boston Red Sox.
After falling 4-3 on Friday in the series opener of a three-game set at Minute Maid Park, the Sox lost 4-3 to the Astros on Saturday in devastating fashion.
David Price was yanked after just three batters due to flu-like symptoms, forcing the Red Sox into a bullpen game. There was some nice resilience shown on Boston’s part, which used a two-out ninth inning rally to tie the game. However, a walk-off single by Carlos Correa with the bases loaded gave the hosts the victory.
The Red Sox fall to 27-25 with the loss, while the Astros climb to 35-18 with the win.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
Things were going poorly for the Red Sox, then they got better. But things turned sour once more, and that was the taste in their mouth when the game ended.
ON THE BUMP
— The Red Sox suffered a bit of a scare with Price, who lasted just three batters. After visibly being in some discomfort, Price got pulled early for what later was described as flu-like symptoms. Sox manager Alex Cora revealed Price had been dealing with the symptoms for four days, while Price indicated that his arm/elbow was fine.
— Colten Brewer took over for Price in the first with one on and two out, and after allowing a single he got out of the inning unscathed.
Brewer also handled the second and third, and despite allowing four hits over the two frames, he didn’t allow a run.
His final line was five hits, no runs, no walks and five strikeouts over 2 1/3 innings.
— Travis Lakins entered in the fourth and pitched a 1-2-3 inning, then did the same in the fifth. But in the sixth he got into some trouble.
With the game still scoreless, Lakins allowed a one-out walk to Correa. The shortstop moved to second on a Yuli Gurriel single, then came home on a Josh Reddick single to right, putting Houston up 1-0 and ending Lakins’ night.
— Heath Hembree got the call with one out and runners on the corners, and the righty immediately allowed an RBI single to Tyler White, upping the Astros’ lead to 2-0. Hembree prevented further damage by getting Robinson Chirinos to fly out and Tony Kemp to ground out to end the inning.
— Hector Velazquez was tasked with keeping the deficit at 2-1 in the seventh, and he gave a run back.
The righty allowed a leadoff double to Aledmys Diaz, then walked Alex Bregman. After getting the next two hitters out, Velazquez allowed Gurriel to hit a rocket to first. The ball got to Mitch Moreland quick and hit off the heel of his glove, deflecting up and over to Xander Bogaerts at short. Bogaerts got the ball and dove for second to try and beat the runner, but was unsuccessful, and that allowed Diaz to score from third, putting Houston up 3-1.
That’s as far as Houston’s damage would go, with Velazquez getting Reddick to line out to end the inning.
Velazquez returned for the eighth and pitched a 1-2-3 inning.
— Matt Barnes handled the ninth with the game tied at three. He didn’t have his best stuff, and the Astros capitalized.
Barnes gave up a leadoff double to Diaz, then walked Bregman and Michael Brantley to load the bases. Correa stepped in and lined a single to right to give Houston the win.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— It took a while for the Red Sox got on the board, and it partly was because they were robbed in the top of the second.
Rafael Devers smoked a ball that was going to clear the fence by a mile, but it hit the roof and dropped back onto the playing surface. Under Minute Maid Park’s ground rules, it was considered a double. The next three hitters went down, stranding Devers.
— The Sox scored their first run in the seventh.
Trailing 2-0, Michael Chavis kicked the inning off with a single and moved to second on a two-out walk from J.D. Martinez. Andrew Benintendi brought Chavis home with a single to right to cut the deficit in half.
Still threatening and with Mookie Betts at the plate, the Red Sox blew their chance due to a baserunning blunder. A ball in the dirt got away from Chirinos, and Martinez started for third base but thought better of it. Martinez backtracked, but Benintendi didn’t notice and kept charging for second. The runners got hung up, and Martinez eventually was tagged out to end the inning.
— The Red Sox jumped right on Astros closer Roberto Osuna, tying the game in the ninth.
Devers singled up the middle to begin the inning, then Chavis reached on an infield single. Osuna plunked Jackie Bradley Jr., loading the bases for Christian Vazquez. The catcher ripped a ball down the third base line, driving in a pair of runs to tie the game while putting runners on the corners.
Steve Pearce pinch hit and struck out looking for the first out, then Benintendi popped out in foul territory. Betts walked to load the bases back up, but Moreland grounded out softly to end the inning.
— Devers led the Red Sox with three hits, while Benintendi and Chavis had two each.
— Betts and Vazquez had one hit apiece.
— Moreland, Bogaerts, Bradley, and Sandy Leon went hitless, as was pinch-hitters Pearce and Martinez.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Indeed it was.
The Red Sox and Astros will play the finale of the three-game set Sunday afternoon. Eduardo Rodriguez will get the ball for Boston and will be countered by Justin Verlander. First pitch from Minute Maid Park is set for 2:10 p.m. ET.