HOUSTON — John Farrell looked a little worn out after tonight's 15-10 victory against the Astros. Can you blame him? There were 25 runs, 26 hits, 13 walks, 18 strikeouts and seven pitching changes in the game.
Down 5-0 after two innings, the Sox scored 15 runs in the next five innings. The Sox sent 26 batters to the plate in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and 12 scored.
The 69-46 Red Sox have won as many games as they did all last season and have 47 left to play.
“I hope we pass last year,” cracked Farrell.
A few notes:
• The top four hitters in the Red Sox lineup — Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz — were 11 for 18 with seven RBIs and 11 runs scored.
• Ellsbury had two home runs, walked twice and scored four runs. Since 1920, the only Red Sox center fielders to hit two home runs and score four runs in a game. Fred Lynn (1975) and Ellis Burks (1987) are the others.
Ellsbury had one home run in his first 342 at-bats this season then six in the 104 at-bats after that.
• Jonny Gomes is 6 for 16 as a pinch hitter with four home runs, a double and seven RBIs. Hall of Famer Joe Cronin set the Red Sox record of five pinch-hit homers in 1943. The only other Red Sox player with four was Del Wilber in 1953. Gomes and Atlanta’s Evan Gattis have the most pinch-hit home runs in the majors this season.
“That’s pretty cool,” Gomes said. “But the season’s not over. Probably get another one.”
• The Sox have six pinch-hit home runs as a team, one off the team record set in 1953.
• Lavarnway was charged with four passed balls in the first inning, tying a major league record for the most in one inning. It had last happened on Aug. 22, 1997 when Geno Petralli of Texas had four passed balls catching knuckleballer Charlie Hough.
But after being tortured by knuckleballer Steven Wright, Lavarnway drove in two runs in the fifth inning to give the Sox the lead.
• Drake Britton had 10.1 scoreless innings to begin his major league career, the most by a Red Sox since Vaughn Eshelman went 18 innings in 1995. Hopefully Britton will accomplish more than Eshelman, who lasted three years and had a 6.07 ERA.
• Rubby De La Rosa made his Red Sox debut in the ninth and retired the side in order with two strikeouts. His fastball hit 98 miles per hour. "Impressive," Farrell said.
• Mike Napoli is 0 for his last 14 and has left 23 runners on base. He is down to .251, .214 with runners in scoring position. Napoli has not been what the Sox hoped. But it certainly hasn't affected Ortiz (.326/.407/.584) very much.
• Farrell suggested the Red Sox could make a roster move to bolster the bullpen after using Brandon Workman for 4.2 innings.