The Boston Red Sox took a methodical approach to dismantling the Astros on Friday, scoring in each of the first five innings en route to a 6-3 win at Fenway Park.
The Astros were able to get runners on the bases throughout the game, but frequently ran into trouble when it came to getting the key hit.
Brandon Laird was the worst offender among Astros hitters. The first baseman struck out four times.
For the game, Houston was 0-12 at the plate with runners in scoring position and stranded eight runners on the basepaths.
For all the bad news there were bright spots at the plate for the club. Third baseman Matt Dominguez had a pair of hits and scored all three runs for Houston.
Robbie Grossman didn’t get a hit, but did get a walk and drove in his first RBI in the Major Leagues with a ground out.
Jose Altuve drove in the other two runs for the Astros.
Erik Bedard still hasn’t figured out how to cut down on his pitch count. The left-hander has a history of injuries so Bo Porter has kept him on a tight leash when it comes to pitch count. The Red Sox hitters consistently worked the count on Bedard, and when he gave up a pair of solo home runs to start the fourth inning, his pitch count climbed to 91 and Porter pulled him.
Paul Clemens came in to relieve Bedard in another long relief appearance and pitched well despite giving up another home run, this time to David Ortiz. That solo home run was the only blemish Clemens allowed on the scoreboard, tossing three innings of one-run ball. He gave up three hits and struck out four.
Wesley Wright put some runners on the base paths but didn’t allow anyone to score in the seventh inning.
Rhiner Cruz, though, had issues in the eighth. Cruz gave up four hits but a nifty double play by Marwin Gonzalez and Dominguez limited the damage to one run.
Next up for the Astros:
Game three of the four game series in Boston. Brad Peacock (1-2, 7.50 ERA) takes the mound for Houston against Felix Doubront (2-0, 4.32 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 6:10, coverage begins at 5:30 on CSN Houston with Astros Pregame Live at 5:30.