Apparently no lead is safe against the Boston Red Sox. The Astros jumped out with a three-run first inning, and through four innings the Astros led by four runs. But that lead was short-lived, as the Red Sox, who lead the majors in runs scored, powered their way to a 15-10 victory on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park, setting up the rubber game on Wednesday. Robbie Grossman and Brett Wallace homered for Houston, which scored in six innings, but the Red Sox got two homers from Jacoby Ellsbury and one from Jonny Gomes.
The Red Sox scored five runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take command of the game.
Jordan Lyles (4-6) can’t say he didn’t get any run support. Lyles was staked to a 7-3 lead entering the fifth inning, but the right-hander couldn’t finish the inning. Lyles was chased from the game after Ryan Lavarnway’s two-run double gave Boston its first lead at 8-7. In 4 2/3 innings, Lyle allowed eight runs and nine hits with six strikeouts and three walks. His ERA rose from 4.91 to 5.40.
Steven Wright’s first major league start didn’t last long, at least innings wise. The first inning must have seemed quite long for the knuckleballer and catcher Lavarnway. In Wright’s one-inning, Lavarnway tied a major league record for most pass balls in an inning with four. Wright allowed three runs and one hit with two walks, a hit batter and one wild pitch.
Dallas Keuchel and Jose Cisnero got hit pretty hard. Keuchel allowed four runs in 2/3 of an inning and Cisnero allowed three runs in one inning.
Brandon Workman relieved Wright and kept the Red Sox in the ballgame even though he had some struggles. In 4 2/3 innings Workman allowed six runs and nine hits. Despite the high number of runs and hits allowed, Workman (2-1) got the win.
AT THE PLATE
Grossman extended his hitting streak to nine games with a two-hit performance that included three RBIs and two runs. His homer was his second and Wallace’s homer was his ninth.
David Ortiz had four hits and Shane Victorino had three hits and four runs for the Red Sox. With his sixth and seventh homers of the season, Ellsbury scored four runs with three RBIs. Gomes’ three-run pinch-hit home run in the sixth was his fourth pinch-hit homer of the season and the team’s sixth.
IN THE FIELD
Second baseman Jose Altuve had an unassisted put out of Dustin Pedroia between third and home in the sixth inning. Altuve fielded a grounder from Mike Napoli and instead of throwing to first base, smartly noticed that Ortiz broke from second to third base and that Pedroia at third base had nowhere to go. Altuve ran across the field and with Pedroia having nowhere to run, was ruled out for running out of the base path.
Astros rookie shortstop Jonathan Villar left the game in the fifth inning with a sprained left thumb and did not return.
The three-game series concludes on Wednesday with RHP Jarred Cosart (1-0, 0.96 ERA) going for Houston vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (6-8, 4.54 ERA).