Red Sox use big 7th inning to down AstrosJul 2, 2011 - 5:49 AM
The Boston Red Sox erupted for six hits during a six-run seventh that catapulted them to a 7-5 victory over the Astros in the opener of a three-game interleague series at Minute Maid Park.
The decisive inning began with a single by J.D. Drew, the first Boston hit since Marco Scutaro started the game by lofting his fifth career leadoff home run.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia then singled and Josh Reddick lined an RBI double to left field, trimming Boston's deficit to 5-2. Sergio Escalona (1-1) replaced Norris, who recorded 10 strikeouts, and Drew Sutton greeted the Houston reliever with a run-scoring single. Escalona hit the next batter he faced to load the bases.
Wilton Lopez was summoned from the bullpen and struck out Scutaro, but Dustin Pedroia tied the game by smacking a chopper past a diving first baseman for a two-run single. The Red Sox grabbed the lead when Adrian Gonzalez followed with a two-run double to left-center .
The offensive surge took Boston starter Tim Wakefield off the hook. The veteran knuckleballer allowed five runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings. Dan Wheeler (1-1) finished the sixth to earn the win, and Jonathan Papelbon pitched around a two-out single by Hunter Pence in the ninth to collect his 16th save of the season.
"Obviously the numbers speak for themselves," said Wakefield. "I didn't have a good feel out there tonight. I got ahead of guys but just couldn't get them out. Luckily, the guys were able to back me up out there."
Boston won for just the third time in its last nine games.
Pence drove in two runs for the Astros, who have dropped six of seven.
Houston pulled even in the bottom of the first on Pence's sacrifice fly.
The Astros then moved ahead in the next inning. With two outs and men on the corners, Carlos Corporan scored on a bunt single by Angel Sanchez and Pence plated Michael Bourn with a ground-rule double.
Carlos Lee doubled home Sanchez in the fifth to give the Astros a three-run lead, and Norris helped his own cause with an RBI single in the sixth.
"We had a 5-1 lead there and I wanted to win the game," said Norris. "Not just for me, but for the team. It's disappointing, but I just have to forget this one and get back at it."
The Red Sox improved to 5-2 all-time against the Astros...Wakefield faced the Astros for the second time in his career, and first since July 7, 1993 while with Pittsburgh...Houston manager Brad Mills spent six seasons (2004-09) as the Red Sox bench coach under skipper Terry Francona...Boston drew nine walks.
- BOSTON: 7
Jul 1 11:21 PM
- Adrian Gonzalez double to left-center scored Darnell McDonald and Dustin Pedroia with one out. Runner on second and Kevin Youkilis due up.
Red Sox 7, Astros 5 Top 7, 1 OutJul 1 10:17 PM
- Dustin Pedroia single to right scored Josh Reddick and Drew Sutton with one out. On the play, Darnell McDonald advances to third. Runners on first and third and Adrian Gonzalez due up.
Red Sox 5, Astros 5 Top 7, 1 OutJul 1 10:16 PM
- Drew Sutton infield single to short scored Jarrod Saltalamacchia with none out. Runners on first and second and Dan Wheeler due up.
Red Sox 3, Astros 5 Top 7, 0 OutsJul 1 10:06 PM
- Josh Reddick double to left scored J.D. Drew with none out. On the play, Jarrod Saltalamacchia advances to third. Runners on second and third and Drew Sutton due up.
Red Sox 2, Astros 5 Top 7, 0 OutsJul 1 10:00 PM
- Bud Norris single to left scored Clint Barmes with one out. Runner on first and Michael Bourn due up.
Red Sox 1, Astros 5 Bot 6, 1 OutJul 1 9:46 PM
- Carlos Lee double to left scored Angel Sanchez with one out. Runner on second and Chris Johnson due up.
Red Sox 1, Astros 4 Bot 5, 1 OutJul 1 9:29 PM
- Carlos Lee flied out to left to end the inning.
Red Sox 1, Astros 3 End 2Jul 1 8:48 PM
- Angel Sanchez bunt single to third scored Carlos Corporan with two out. On the play, Michael Bourn advances to second. Runners on first and second and Hunter Pence due up.
Red Sox 1, Astros 2 Bot 2, 2 OutsJul 1 8:45 PM
- Hunter Pence sacrifice fly to center scored Michael Bourn with two out. None on and Carlos Lee due up.
Red Sox 1, Astros 1 Bot 1, 2 OutsJul 1 8:21 PM
- Marco Scutaro lead-off Home Run (3) to left. Dustin Pedroia due up.
Red Sox 1, Astros 0 Top 1, 0 OutsJul 1 8:09 PM
- BOSTON: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jul 1 8:08 PM
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