BOSTON -- David Ross entered Friday’s game against the Astros with scant offensive output to show for the season. He took care of most of that in this game. Ross went 4-for-4, a new career-high for hits in a game, with two home runs, matching a career high. He scored three runs, matching a career-high, and drove in two, as the Red Sox beat the Astros, 7-3.
Ross entered the game with just three hits in 25 at-bats this season, and one home run. His first home run of the game, with two out in the second, cleared the wall in left field, landing on the parking deck across Lansdowne Street. His second home run of the night – following just behind Will Middlebrooks home run to lead off the fourth – was nearly identical. Ross added a single to left with one out in the sixth.
David Ortiz hit his second home run of the season, and second is as many nights.
Ryan Dempster earned his first win of the season, improving to 1-2, and lowering his ERA to 3.30. He went six innings, matching his season high with 10 strikeouts. He gave up two runs on four hits with three walks.
Erik Bedard took the loss for the Astros, going just three innings (plus two batters in the fourth), giving up five runs on eight hits with no walks, five strikeouts, and three home runs. His record fell to 0-2 as his ERA climbed from 6.17 to 7.98.
The Sox scored first, as Jacoby Ellsbury led off with an infield single, scoring on Dustin Pedroia’s double off the wall in left.
Ross second-inning home run put the Sox up, 2-0.
The Astros got a run in third when Matt Dominguez led off with a double, took third on Marwin Gonzalez’s fly out to Ellsbury in center, scoring on Robbie Grossman’s groundout.
The Sox added a run in the third when Pedroia reached on a ground-rule double, scoring on Mike Napoli’s double to left.
Back-to-back home runs by Middlebrooks and Ross in the fourth put the Sox up 5-1.
Houston got a run back in the fifth when Dominguez led off with a double, taking third on a wild pitch by Dempster, scoring on Jose Altuve’s sacrifice fly.
Ortiz’s one-out home run to straightaway center field in the fifth gave the Sox a 6-2 lead.
Clayton Mortensen entered for the seventh, opening by hitting Dominguez with a pitch. Gonzalez reached on a bunt, with Dominguez going to third when Napoli failed to catch the throw from Ross. Altuve’s second sac fly of the game scored Dominguez, cutting the Sox lead to 6-3.
The Sox added another run in the eighth, as Middlebrooks, Ross, and Ciriaco opened the inning with consecutive singles. After Ellsbury lined into a double play, Jonny Gomes single to left scored Ross.
Every member of the Sox lineup except Daniel Nava had at least one hit.
STAR OF THE GAME: David Ross
Ross went 4-for-4 with two home runs, three runs scored, and two RBI. He set new single-game career highs with four hits and 10 total bases. It was the 11th time he hit multiple home runs in a game – the most among active big league catchers – and his first time since April 26, 2011, while with the Braves at San Diego. It was the first multi-homer game by a Sox catcher at Fenway since Victor Martinez hit two on Sept. 17, 2010, against the Blue Jays. Ross also tied a career high with three runs scored.
He raised his batting average from .120 to .241, his slugging percentage from .240 to .552, and his on-base percentage from .154 to .267.
HONORABLE MENTION: Ryan Dempster
Dempster earned his first win of the season, improving to 1-2, and lowering his ERA to 3.30. He went six innings, matching his season high with 10 strikeouts. He gave up two runs on four hits with three walks.
It was his 16th career game with 10 or more strikeouts, second this season. He has recorded at least seven strikeouts in all five starts this season, matching Pedro Martinez in 1998 for the longest such streak to begin a Red Sox career since at least 1916.
He is averaging 11.12 strikeouts per nine innings, with 91 strikeouts over 73 2/3 innings, over his last 13 starts since Aug. 25. 2012, with the Rangers. He has a major league-best 11 games with seven or more strikeouts in that span.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Erik Bedard
Bedard went just three innings – plus two batters in the fourth, giving up home runs to both. He gave up five runs on eight hits with no walks, five strikeouts, and three home runs, as his ERA climbed from 6.17 to 7.98. He has not gone more than four innings in any of his four starts this season.
THE TURNING POINT
With the Sox leading 3-1 going into the bottom of the fourth, Bedard gave up back-to-back home runs to Will Middlebrooks and Ross to open the inning, ending Bedard’s outing.
BY THE NUMBERS: 218
Astros batters entered the game with a major-league high 218 strikeouts. Red Sox pitchers entered the game with a major league-high 218 strikeouts. Both sides added to those totals, as Sox pitchers matched a season-high with 14 strikeouts.
With 232 strikeouts, Sox pitchers set a new team high for strikeouts in any single month. The previous was 231 in September 2000. Sox pitchers have recorded 10 or more strikeouts in 15 of the team’s 23 games this season, most in the majors.
QUOTE OF NOTE
“He was able to get himself into some good counts, pick out a fastball and he didn’t miss it. In addition to the two home runs, some good baserunning in his final at-bat to score that fourth run, which keeps us from going to [Andrew] Bailey in the ninth. He can swing the bat.” --Manager John Farrell on David Ross