Game over: Red Sox 15, Astros 10: The game didn't start so well. We all wondered why Steven Wright was starting a game in the midst of a pennant race, but there he was in the first inning allowing three runs. Ryan Lavarnway committed four passed balls to tie a major league record. The Sox were down 3-0 and the decision was made to take Wright out of the game. Brandon Workman, credited with the win, didn't exactly shut the door. He allowed six runs and nine hits over 4.2 innings of relief.
But the Red Sox offense was relentless scoring 10 runs, five each in the sixth and seventh innings. Big nights by David Ortiz (4-for-4, two RBI), two homers by Jacoby Ellsbury, four RBIs and a three-run homer by pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes and a big two-run double by Lavarnway in the fifth inning, which put the Red Sox ahead for good, 8-7.
We also got to see flame-throwing righty Rubby De La Rosa, who was throwing 97-98 mph heat when he struck out two in the ninth. The game was played in 3:54 before 21,620.
Top 9th: Red Sox 15, Astros 10 - Brandon Snyder walked pinch-hitting for Ortiz, but not much there.
Bottom 8th: Red Sox 15, Astros 10 - Jake Elmore stroked a homer off Drake Britton, first run he's allowed since coming up.
Top 8th: Red Sox 15, Astros 9 - The game has calmed down. Nothing doing here for Red Sox.
Bottom 7th: Red Sox 15, Astros 9 - Britton keeps throwing zeroes.
Top 7th: Red Sox 15, Astros 9 - Jacoby Ellsbury hit his second home run of the game. He now has seven. Sox kept rallying. Victorino walked, moved to second on a balk. Another walk by Ortiz, who has reached base five times with four hits and a walk. Gomes delivered another RBI single, his fourth RBI since coming into the game as a pinch-hitter for Carp in the sixth.
Bottom 6th: Red Sox 13, Astros 9 - 'Stros come a back a bit. Four straight hits by Hoes, Elmore, Grossman (RBI) and Barnes, and a grounder by Altuve which Pedroia muffed (and could have been a double-play) allowed the second run to score.
Top 6th: Red Sox 13, Astros 7 - The Astros turned into the Astros. They have now squandered a 7-3 lead. Ellsbury walked (his second of the game) and Victorino singled to center to put runners at first and second. Pedroia singled in Ellsbury. Ortiz singled in Victorino and shortstop Jonathan Villar made a bonehead off-the-mark throw to the plate allowing the runners to advance into scoring position. Jonny Gomes hit a pinch-hit three-run homer, his fourth pinch-hit homer of the season.
Bottom 5th: Red Sox 8, Astros 7 - Workman walked Jason Castro, but Brett Wallace knocked into a 3-6-3 inning-ending double-play.
Top 5th: Red Sox 8, Astros 7 - Red Sox put up five runs to take the lead. Shane Victorino knocked in Jacoby Ellsbury (walk). Dustin Pedroia doubled to bring home Victorino. After David Ortiz singled, Mike Napoli (a double-play grounder and two strikeouts) struck out. Mike Carp's grounder got Pedroia in. After Stephen Drew walked, Ryan Lavarnway, who committed four passed balls in the first inning, doubled in a pair. All the runs came off Jordan Lyles.
Bottom 4th: Astros 7, Red Sox 3 - Workman allowed a triple to L.J. Hoes to Tal's Hill in deep center and he scored on Jonathan Villar's single through the middle of a drawn-in infield. After Grossman sacrificed the runner to second base with one out, Villar was caught trying to steal third with Jose Altuve at the plate by Lavarnway. Barnes grounded out to end the threat.
Top 4th: Astros 6, Red Sox 3 - Lyles lapses into a one-out walk to Stephen Drew, but struck out Lavarnway and got Brock Holt to tap back to the pitcher.
Bottom 3rd: Astros 6, Red Sox 3 - Brett Wallace homered to right against Brandon Workman.
Top 3rd: Astros 5, Red Sox 3 - After a Stephen Drew single and one out, Jacoby Ellsbury launched a two-run homer. The Red Sox continued the rally against Lyles with a Shane Victorino single. After Dustin Pedroia was hit with a pitch, David Ortiz singled to right to knock in the run, his 72nd RBI of the season. Mike Napoli whiffed to end the inning.
Bottom 2nd: Astros 5, Red Sox 0 - Steven Wright was out after one inning. Lavarnway couldn't catch him. Brandon Workman came in. He allowed a one-out single and stolen base to Jonathan Villar and then Robbie Grossman homered.
Top 2nd: Astros 3, Red Sox 0 - A David Ortiz single went for naught. Mike Napoli knocked into a 6-4-3 double-play and Mike Carp struck out.
Bottom 1st: Astros 3, Red Sox 0 - The good news is Steven Wright had an incredibly moving knuckleball. The bad news is, Ryan Lavarnway couldn't catch it. There were four passed balls, two of them producing runs. Wright walked leadoff man Robbie Grossman, who stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball before Brandon Barnes was hit with a pitch.
After a passed ball advanced the runner to second Jose Altuve struck out. Another passed ball produced a run. Jason Castro singled, Marc Krauss walked. But Wright finally settled in, allowing a third run on a ground out by Brett Wallace. Wright threw 38 pitches. Four passed balls by Lavarnway tied a major league record for PB's in one inning.
Top 1st: Astros 0, Red Sox 0 - The Red Sox went down in order against Jordan Lyles, who struck out Dustin Pedroia to end the first inning.