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Final: Red Sox 3, Astros 2

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  March 8, 2011 01:00 PM

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Final: Red Sox 3, Astros 3

Fox closed it out with three strikeouts.

Top of the 9th: Red Sox 3, Astros 2

Paul Hoover doubled, advanced on a fly ball to center and scored on an infield single by Spears. Red Sox sending Matt Fox out to try and close it out. Back later with more.

Middle of the 8th: Astros 2, Red Sox 2

Reyes worked around a leadoff walk. Two solid innings for him so far this spring.

Top of the 8th: Astros 2, Red Sox 2

The Sox went down in order. Dennys Reyes in to pitch for the Sox. This will be his second outing.

Middle of the 7th: Astros 2, Red Sox 2

Strong inning for Bard, who struck out a pair. He asked to pitch in a game instead of throwing in the bullpen. He has the 'stros flailing away.

Top of the 7th: Astros 2, Red Sox 2

The Sox manufactured a run. Drew walked, Salty singled and Reddick walked to load the bases. Spears grounded to first and pinch runner Felix Sanchez beat the throw to the plate.

Daniel Bard in to pitch.

Middle of the 6th: Astros 2, Red Sox 1

Papelbon retired the side in order. He has been perfect in three innings this spring: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

Top of the 6th: Astros 2, Red Sox 1

Iglesias was hit by a pitch and went to third when Kalish (3 or 3) singled. Pedroia grounded into another double play as a run scored.

Papelbon now pitching.

Bottom of the 5th: Astros 2, Red Sox 0

Just back from the clubhouse, where Josh Beckett talked about some adjustments he made to his stride that enabled him to throw more strikes.

As for the game, the Sox loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth and did not score as Reddick struck out and Spears lined into a double play. Matt Albers allowed a run on three hits in the fifth. Bill Hall had an RBI single.

Middle of the 4th: Astros 1, Red Sox 0

Beckett is done for the day. His lineL 3.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. 55 pitches, 30 strikes. He really gave up one hit and shouldn't have an earned run. But whatever.

Top of the 4th: Astros 1, Red Sox 0

Kalish singled but Pedroia grounded into a double play. Then Crawford grounded to second.

Middle of the 3rd: Astros 1, Red Sox 0

Another solid inning for Beckett, who fanned two more. T.J. Steele was credited with a hit on a ball he hit down the third base line. Nate Spears backhanded the ball, which fell out of his glove. Looked like an E-5.

Becket has thrown 47 pitches, so that could be it for him. His line: 3 2 1 1 1 4. In reality, both hits were cheapies and he should not have allowed any runs.

Middle of the 2nd: Astros 1, Red Sox 0

1-2-3 inning for Beckett, who has thrown 31 pitches, He fanned Quintero with a nice breaking ball.

Top of the 2nd: Astros 1, Red Sox 0

Kalish started the inning with a double. But when Pedroia grounded to third, he was thrown out going to third. Mistake there. Pedroia then was thrown out stealing second.

Crawford, who is mashing of late, doubled to the gap in left but Drew struck out.

Koby Clemens leads off for Houston this inning and his father, the Rocket, is in the house watching from a suite.

Middle of the 1st: Astros 1, Red Sox 0

Steele walked, stole second and scored with two outs on a misplayed pop to right by Josh Reddick. The hitter, Drew Locke, was credited with a double. Beckett then fanned Chris Johnson looking with a nasty slider.

Pre-game: The Red Sox have sold out every spring training home game since March, 16, 2003, a steak of 109 games. That seems destined to end today as there are rows and rows of empty seats. This game was a late addition to the schedule.

Ron Johnson (the Red Sox first base coach) and his son Chris Johnson (the Astros third baseman) exchange lineup cards. We're also keeping an eye out for Roger Clemens, who often attends games to see his son Koby, the Houston first baseman.

The Astros scratched left fielder Jason Michaels (back spasms) and have Drew Locke in the lineup.

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