Red Sox win 7-5 against Astros in extra innings

Apr 24, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez (13) scores a run during the twelfth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 24, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez (13) scores a run during the twelfth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Red Sox Henry Owens made his season debut, taking the injured Joe Kelly’s spot in the rotation.

Henry Owens wasn’t impressive in his season debut by only pitching 3.1 innings, giving up three hits with three runs. Even though the Astros didn’t do a lot of damage to the lefty, he threw 86 pitches by the time he was replaced  by Matt Barnes.

Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia helped the Red Sox get an early lead by hitting a single and a double respectively, in the first inning. David Ortiz was intentionally walked and Betts scored on an error that left the bases loaded with Hanley Ramirez on first base. Astros starter Scott Feldman issued a walk to Travis Shaw that boosted the Red Sox lead and was followed by a sac-fly from Brock Holt to end the inning 3-0.

Owens threw a scoreless first inning, but gave up a solo home run to Marin Gonzalez in the bottom half of the 2nd. The Red Sox extended their lead to 5-1 in the top half of the 3rd thanks to a single from Holt and back-to-back doubles from Ryan Hanigan and Jackie Bradley Jr. 

The Astros cut the Red Sox lead to 5-3 in the third inning with a double from George Springer, back-to-back walks from Carlos Correa and Colby Ramus and a single from Evan Gattis. The score remained the same until the bottom half of the 9th.

Even though Owens had only allowed one run, he didn’t look comfortable on the mound and was already close to 100 pitches to start the fourth inning. After striking out Jason Castro, he gave up a single to Jose Altuve but the lefty couldn’t field the ball well and John Farrell quickly replaced him with Matt Barnes.

Barnes pitched two scoreless innings allowing only one hit and was replaced by Junichi Tazawa in the bottom half of the 6th to retire Altuve and Springer. Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless eighth, leaving a perfect saving opportunity for Craig Kimbrel.

Kimbrel quickly retired Altuve and Springer, but gave up a double to Correa. Colby Rasmus, who hit a grand slam was the hero again for the Astros tying the game with a two-run home run to right field. I know it is still April, but Kimbrel hasn’t been what the Red Sox expected. The pitch he threw to Rasmus was almost identical to the one he threw to Chris Davis in the Red Sox home opener. 

Heath Hembree replaced Kimbrel in the 10th inning and only allowed two hits in three innings of work. The Red Sox scored in the bottom half of the 2nd on a bases-loaded single from Bradley Jr. and a wild pitch from Ken Giles. The Astros added more drama by putting two runners in the bottom half of the 12th, but Hembree struck out Gattis and Gonzalez to finally put an end to this five-hour game.

Game notes:

  • Owens recorded only one more out than Hembree.
  • The Red Sox are now 9-9, with 90 runs scored and 90 runs allowed.
  • The bullpen has thrown three more innings (30) than the rotation (27) over the last six games.
  • Hanigan saw a 12-pitch AB that loaded the bases in the 12th inning.

D-. . Game Ball. Henry Owens. STARTING PITCHING

It was Owens’ season debut and he wasn’t even supposed to start this game, but it still never a good outing when you can’t even get through four innings. The Red Sox desperately need someone who can give the bullpen a rest and this guy didn’t do it.

B-. . Game Ball. . RELIEF PITCHING

Considering that the starter only recorded ten outs and this game lasted 12 innings, the bullpen did an excellent job if we ignore Kimbrel’s meltdown in the 9th. I know it is a high grade since Kimbrel gave up a home run that tied the game in the 9th, but Hembree was the only pitcher the Red Sox used in extra innings and Barnes, Tazawa and Uehara hold the Astros scoreless for 3.2 innings.

This bullpen needs a break.

B-. . Game Ball. Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez. OFFENSE

Pedroia was a home run away from hitting for the cycle and even though the Red Sox offense didn’t score in almost eight innings, they did put seven runs on the board and gave Owens an early lead. Everyone had at least one hit and played a huge role at some point during the game.