BOSTON — The Red Sox’ four-game winning streak was snapped Friday night with a 5-3 loss to the Houston Astros in 10 innings at Fenway Park. The early efforts of starting pitchers Clay Buchholz and Dallas Keuchel were erased by late-game series of events that forced the game into extra innings.
The Red Sox got initial offensive spark in the fourth inning. Yoenis Cespedes hit the first home run of his career at Fenway Park off Keuchel. The two-run slam reached the Green Monster seats and brought in David Ortiz to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.
The Astros responded in the fifth. Grossman drove in Jake Marisnick on a ground ball to right field to cut the deficit to one run. The left fielder struck again in the seventh, homering to right field to tie the game at 2 apiece.
The Red Sox quickly reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the same inning. Christian Vazquez singled to center, reached second on a wild pitch by Keuchel, and scored on a Brock Holt single. The Red Sox went up 3-2.
Buchholz left the game after throwing 110 pitches over seven innings. He recorded seven hits, 2 earned runs, 2 walks, and nine strikeouts. Keuchel also pitched seven innings with six hits, three earned runs, three walks, eight strikeouts, and one home run (103 pitches). Neither earned a decision in this game.
The Red Sox then turned to their bullpen and the Astros fought back in a chaotic series of events. Edward Mujica began in the top of the eighth. Chris Carter singled to right center, followed by Dexter Fowler singling to left. Gregorio Petit entered the game to pinch run for Carter. Tommy Layne relieved Mujica with two on and struck out Jason Castro and Jon Singleton.
Burke Badenhop came in for Layne looking to close out the inning. Marwin Gonzalez reached on a single to shortstop, advancing Fowler to second. Dustin Pedroia, who had attempted to tag out Fowler, saw Petit trying to score and gunned the ball to Vazquez. The catcher ran slightly up the baseline toward the runner and then threw it back to Badenhop at home. Badenhop tried to apply a tag to Petit but did not have the ball in his possession. The Red Sox challenged the safe calls at home plate and second base. The umpire confirmed both calls and an error was assessed to Vazquez on the throw to Badenhop.
The game reached extra innings and in the 10th Jason Marisnick hit a two-run double to right field that drove in the winning runs. Craig Breslow (2-4) was charged with the loss. Tony Sipp earned the win.
MVP: Jason Marisnick
Marisnick broke a 3-3 tie in the 10th inning with a two-run double to shallow right field. He finished the night 2-5 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored.
The young catcher had been lauded for his defensive strengths but made a critical error in the eighth inning when he failed to apply a tag to Petit. Instead he threw home to Badenhop, who did not have the ball in his possession when he tried to tag out Petit as well. The Astros tied the game 3-3 and eventually forced extra innings.
The Astros tied the game in the eighth on a series of frenzied plays. Take a look at how it all transpired.
Tweet of the game
That was probably the weirdest way I’ve ever seen a tying run score.
— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) August 16, 2014
Numbers to Know
The Astros won their first game at Fenway Park. They had been 0-8 heading into Friday’s game … The Red Sox fell to 6-10 in extra inning games this season. The Astros are 6-4 in the same situation … The Red Sox fell to 28-32 at home while the Astros improved to 22-36 on the road.
What It Means
The Red Sox winning streak was snapped and the team remains in the last spot in the American League East. More significantly, this game will be a learning experience for Vazquez. Only 23, he will have to use this as a Major League lesson and not let it linger as a setback.
The Red Sox and Astros will face off at 7:10pm on Saturday evening at Fenway Park. Rubby De La Rosa (4-4, 3.21) is scheduled to start against fellow right-handed pitcher Brad Peacock (3-8, 5.25).
De La Rosa earned a win in his last start on August 10 against the Los Angeles Angels. He threw 7.0 innings with eight strikeouts, five hits, and one earned run. De La Rosa has not pitched against the Astros since August of last season, a perfect inning out of the bullpen.
Peacock last pitched on August 11, a no decision in the Astros loss to the Minnesota Twins. He faced the Red Sox on July 13, recording just one out in his start before being pulled with the bases loaded.