Saying the Red Sox beat the Astros on Thursday to avoid a series sweep doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Boston earned a 12-8 win over Houston at Fenway Park in one of the craziest baseball games you’ll see all season — maybe ever. Honestly, we want to keep this part brief because there’s so much to get to.
We will say that Eduardo Rodriguez delivered another disappointing start and that everyone in the Red Sox lineup other than Alex Verdugo had a hit. The bottom three batters in the order combined for nine RBIs.
The Red Sox improved to 38-25 with the win while the Astros dropped to 35-27 with the loss.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
It had everything: Ejections, fans on the field, bad calls, cheap homers, great catches and whacky double plays — and so much more.
ON THE BUMP
— Rodriguez continued to struggle in all areas. He was hit hard, showed poor command and threw too many pitches. The lefty is at his best when he’s working with confidence and a quick pace, neither of which he did Thursday night.
Rodriguez worked around a one-out walk to pitch a scoreless first but allowed a leadoff homer to Yuli Gurriel in the second. With two outs in the third, a walk, a single and a double resulted in two Astros runs after Boston gave Rodriguez a 2-1 lead.
Things likely would have been worse in the third had Verdugo not made this play:
The left-hander, given a 4-3 lead, pitched a scoreless fourth but fell apart in the fifth, loading the bases before being lifted with two outs.
Rodriguez’s final line: six earned runs on six hits and three walks with five strikeouts on 106 pitches in 4 2/3 innings. He now has a 6.03 ERA.
— Matt Andriese took over for Rodriguez and promptly walked in a run on four pitches. He then gave up a bases-loaded triple to Kyle Tucker, with two of the runs being charged to Rodriguez.
— Darwinzon Hernandez retired the first two batters of the sixth, but Jose Altuve took the lefty deep with a classic pop-fly Fenway homer over the Green Monster. Hernandez struck out Carlos Correa to end the inning.
— Adam Ottavino pitched a scoreless seventh, but not without some controversy.
He struck out Alex Bregman to open the frame but gave up a single to Alvarez with one out. Then, Gurriel hit a weak ground ball in front of the plate that was ruled fair, unbeknownst to him or Alvarez, who had reached second base but began running back to first, believing the ball was foul.
Christian Vázquez threw to first for the force out, and Alvarez eventually was tagged out for the double play. Astros manager Dusty Baker was ejected from the game for arguing the call.
(You can click here to watch the whole thing.)
— Josh Taylor continued his recent run of success with a perfect eighth inning. He got help from Enrique Hernández, who made a great catch in center field. After a rough start to the season, Taylor now has a 3.98 ERA.
— Matt Barnes gave up a leadoff single but retired the next three batters to finish the game.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox finished with 14 hits.
— Four singles in five batters drove home a run and loaded the bases for the Red Sox in the second. Hernández then walked in a run to give Boston a 2-1 lead.
— The Red Sox got two more in the second, with J.D. Martinez homering to center to lead off the inning. It was the 13th home run of the season for Martinez.
Xander Bogaerts followed with a double and later was driven home on a two-out single from Vázquez.
— All told, the Red Sox scored four runs on seven hits off Astros starter Zack Greinke, who did not return for the fourth.
— After falling behind 7-4, the Red Sox fought back in the bottom of the fifth, with Christian Arroyo hitting a game-tying homer with two outs off Houston reliever Brandon Bielak.
— So, the bottom of the sixth was a hoot.
Boston sent 10 men to the plate and scored five runs. The Astros dropped two routine pop-ups, one of which was ruled an out due to a questionably enforced infield fly rule.
Houston pitchers issued three walks and hit a batter in the frame. In fact, the Red Sox only had two hits: a leadoff double from Hernández and a two-run double from Bobby Dalbec. Three of the runs were charged to Astros reliever Blake Taylor, with the other two to Enoli Paredes, who was was lifted with an apparent arm injury.
Oh, and the inning even saw a fan run onto the field. When the dust settled, the Red Sox held a 12-8 lead.
— Hernández, Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Vázquez and Dalbec all had multiple hits, with Vàzquez going 3-for-4.
— Verdugo went 0-for-5.
TWEET OF THE GAME
And happy Pride Month! You can click here for all of NESN.com’s Pride Month coverage.
The Red Sox on Friday will begin a pivotal four-game home series against the Toronto Blue Jays. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.