Offense powers 8-3 Red Sox win over Astros


Christian Vazquez and David Ortiz powered a 12 hit Red Sox attack that supported a wild, but effective John Lackey in an 8-3 victory. While the game did not get off to a great start in terms of clutch hitting, the Red Sox wore down Astros starter Scott Feldman.  Lackey issued five walks and threw 117 pitches to complete six innings, allowing two earned runs.

After squandering no out runners in scoring position in the first two innings, the Red Sox hit paydirt in the third inning. Vazquez collected his first major league hit, a single to center. Brock Holt, who had doubled in the first inning, hit a booming triple to right center field. Dustin Pedroia followed with a double to the left field corner to bring Holt in and the Red Sox were quickly up, 2-0. Vazquez was in the middle of another rally in the fourth inning as he doubled to right to drive in Stephen Drew who had tripled.

In the bottom of the fourth, two walks by Lackey and a single by Enrique Hernandez, narrowed the score to 3-1. The Astros threatened again in the bottom of the fifth, after a two out double by Jason Castro but Lackey managed to escape further trouble. The Red Sox rewarded Lackey’s clutch pitching in the sixth. Two singles and an error put runners on second and third, and once again the opposing manager played the percentages and intentionally walked Drew to get to Vazquez. Once again that backfired as Vazquez doubled again to right to plate two runs to make the score 5-1. With two outs in the inning, Ortiz put the exclamation point on the rally with a three-run double to the gap in right-center to make it 8-1.

Chris Carter managed to trim the deficit to 8-3 with a pair of solo homers off Lackey in the sixth and Craig Breslow in the eighth. Edward Mujica came on to mop up in the ninth. With two runners on and Koji Uehara starting to lightly toss in the bullpen, and Carter looming on deck, Mujica struck out Astros first baseman Jon Singleton to end the game.

Saturday afternoon, the Red Sox try to get Jake Peavy (1-7, 4.64) in the win column for the first time since April against the Astros’ Collin McHugh (4-8, 3.28) at 4:10 p.m.