BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox dropped the final game of a three-game series, 7-4, against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on Wednesday afternoon.

With the loss, the Red Sox moved to 69-65, while the Astros improved to 77-58.

You can check out the full box score here.

As they had all series long, the Astros put pressure on a solid Red Sox starter with quality at-bats.

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After Kutter Crawford retired Houston in order in the first inning, the Astros took advantage with a series of hard-hit balls while doing damage in the strike zone. Houston tallied three runs in both the second and third innings against Crawford with seven hits in that span.

On the other side, Framber Valdez picked apart the strike zone against Red Sox hitters. The Houston lefty is not new to success at Fenway Park after pitching the Astros to a series lead in the 2021 American League Championship Series with seven dominant innings in Boston.

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That narrative, however, changed in the sixth inning when the Boston bats came to life with hard contact of their own.

Luis Urías and Triston Casas both reached to start the frame. Connor Wong then reached on an error from Jeremy Peña to end the shutout bid. Ceddanne Rafaela followed with a double for his first big league RBI. A pair of RBI groundouts from Justin Turner and Rafael Devers brought the score to 7-4.

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Boston had a chance to tie the game in the seventh with two runners on before Rafaela struck out swinging to end the frame.

From there, the Astros bullpen locked down the final six outs to secure the victory.

After splitting four games in Houston last week, the Red Sox could not find the same approach in Boston. The Astros took advantage of consistent extra opportunities on the way to a series sweep that negatively impacted the playoff chances for the Red Sox.

— Two days after recording his first career hit, Rafaela tallied his first career RBI as part of the sixth inning rally.

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— Turner provided Boston’s first hit in the fourth inning and drove in a run with a groundout in the sixth.

— Michael Brantley drove the Houston lineup, going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs.

Rafaela entered Wednesday’s contest at +180 to record an RBI, per FanDuel Sportsbook. With his run-scoring double in the sixth inning, a $100 wager placed on Rafaela would’ve netted a $280 total payout.

The Red Sox hit the road for six games, beginning Friday night to start a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN

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Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images