Bud Norris (3-2, 4.13) vs John Lackey (0-1, 4.15)
The Astros came into Fenway with (just barely) the worst record in the American League, to face best-in-the-league Boston for four games. It's unfortunately unsurprising, then, that Houston is leaving town as the losers of four straight. Boston completed the sweep today with a 6-1 score, and the Astros head to Yankee Stadium now 7-18.
On the Mound:
*Houston was counting on Bud Norris today to be their slump buster, but Bud just wasn't as sharp as mound opponent John Lackey. He was also the victim of bad defense, as Marwin Gonzalez committed two errors on one play in the 5th, leading to a pair of unearned runs. Bud's losing line: 6 IP / 9 H / 5 R / 3 ER / 2 BB / 6 K.
*Jose Cisnero handled the remaining two frams, though he finally surrendered his first run with the big club, on a David Ortiz RBI double in the 7th.
At the Plate:
*Ronny Cedeno again DH'd and hit fifth - for some reason - but he actually kinda justified the decision, going 2 for 4 and driving in Houston's lone run.
*Carlos Pena had his own pair of hits, going 2 for 3 with a walk and a K.
*Jason Castro scored the run, going 1 for 3 with a walk.
*Matt Dominguez went 1 for 4; he's hit safely in 8 of his last 10 games.
*Rick Ankiel went 1 for 4 with a double, and he actually didn't strike out (!!), for the first time in any game with more than one AB this season.
*It's worth noting, in fact, that the Astros as a team only struck out four times today, tying their lowest total so far (4/6 v. OAK).
Boston answered Houston's run in the 1st with one of their own, and that's how the game stayed until the bottom of the 4th. Mike Napoli led off with a single, but was gunned down by Rick Ankiel trying to stretch it to second. Mike Carp and Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed with two more singles in a row, then Bud Norris got Will Middlebrooks to strike out swinging. But a Stephen Drew triple plated both runners next, giving the Red Sox the lead for good.
Man of the Match:
Ronny Cedeno. His RBI in the 1st at least gave Houston a glimmer of hope with a 1-0 lead, however short-lived.
Goat of the Game:
Marwin Gonzalez. 0 for 4 with pair of errors that cost Houston a pair of runs.