Tyler White capped a five-run first inning with a two-run double and Josh James delivered three scoreless innings of relief as the Houston Astros defeated the host Boston Red Sox 7-3 on Saturday at Fenway Park to claim this three-game series between the last two American League champs.
The Astros extended their winning streak to 10 games with the victory, marking their second double-digit streak this season. The 1969 Astros were the only team in franchise history to post two double-digit winning streaks in the same season. Houston also won 10 in a row April 5-16.
Astros right-hander Corbin Martin did not survive the fifth despite being spotted a 5-0 lead. He issued three two-out walks and surrendered an unearned run during a 32-pitch first and laboured before departing with two runners on and no outs in the fifth. That’s when James (1-0) made his arrival.
James recorded the first strikeout for Houston pitching when he retired Xander Bogaerts on a called third strike with the bases loaded. He froze Bogaerts, who represented the tying run, with a 99.3-mph fastball, and left the bases full by inducing a grounder from Rafael Devers. James then retired Boston in order in the sixth and seventh innings and allowed zero hits and one walk while striking out two. He averaged 97.3 mph on his 27 four-seam fastballs.
The Red Sox finished 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded six baserunners. Boston dropped its first series of the month, having entered Friday 4-0-1 in five series concluded in May.
The Astros made short work of Red Sox right-hander Hector Velazquez (1-3), with the first four batters reaching base safely to open the first inning. Michael Brantley squeezed an RBI double between walks to Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa, and Josh Reddick made the first out of the frame a productive one, driving home Bregman with a sacrifice fly to left field.
Yuli Gurriel chased Velazquez with a run-scoring single and White greeted reliever Colten Brewer by slapping a cutter to the opposite field that scored Correa and Gurriel and extended the lead to 5-0.
Velazquez allowed five runs on three hits and two walks while recording just one out. Josh Reddick drilled his fourth home run in the fifth, the Astros’ 36th home run in 14 games.
Stephen Strasburg yielded just one earned run and four hits in eight innings, while Juan Soto had two hits and drove in three runs, as the host Washington Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 5-2 on Saturday.
Strasburg (4-3) struck out the side in the third and finished with seven strikeouts.
Sean Doolittle pitched the ninth to earn his eighth save, after his outing was twice interrupted by Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who filed an official protest because the Nationals’ left-hander was tapping his toe on the mound during his delivery.
Jon Lester (3-2) allowed five runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings. In August of last season, he gave up eight earned runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings in his only start of 2018 against the Nationals.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Copa America: Argentina, Uruguay, Peru through to quarter-finals
Pakistan ease to victory to end South Africa’s hopes
World champ Barshim makes a smashing return from injury
Rhodes warns Bangladesh of slow Southampton track
‘Bittersweet’ Brathwaite offers reminder of his explosive talent
England ease into quarters as Cameroon fume over VAR
Morocco gifted win as Namibia concede own goal
Qatar’s Abdulla battles back to sixth in T3 at Italian Baja
Hamilton wins at Paul Ricard in Mercedes one-two