By Maureen Mullen
BOSTON – A crazy, Little League-style play with two outs in the eighth inning allowed the Astros to tie the game, on their way to a 5-3 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park Friday night.
It was the first win in team history at Fenway for the Astros, who are now 1-8 at the ancient ballpark.
Craig Breslow took the loss, falling to 2-4 with a 5.11 ERA. He entered for the 10th inning, allowing the first three batters to reach base. Gregorio Petit singled to center with Dexter Fowler reaching on a bunt before Breslow hit Jason Castro with a 90-mph fastball to load the bases.
Jon Singleton flied out to shallow center on a sacrifice fly attempt, but Petit did not challenge Jackie Bradley’s arm, ending Breslow’s outing.
Junichi Tazawa entered, retiring Matt Dominquez on a pop fly before Jake Marisnick blooped a ground-rule double just inside the line in shallow right field that then bounced into the seats, scoring two runs, giving the Astros a 5-3 lead, their first of the game.
The Astros scored their all their runs with two outs.
Tony Sipp, who entered to get the final out of the ninth and retired the side in order in the 10th, earned the win.
Clay Buchholz started and went seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks with nine strikeouts and a home run. He has not earned a win since July 18 against the Royals. In five starts since, he is 0-2.
Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel went seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks with eight strikeouts, a home run, and two wild pitches.
Yoenis Cespedes’ first career home run at Fenway Park, a two-run laser shot into the Monster seats in the fourth scoring David Ortiz, who led off with an infield single, opened the scoring in the game. It was Cespedes’ 20th home run of the season, third with the Sox since being acquired at the trade deadline.
The Astros cut the Sox lead in half in the fifth, when three straight batters singled with two outs.
The Astros tied the game in the seventh on Robbie Grossman’s two-out solo home run off Buchholz.
It appeared that the Sox offense bailed out Buchholz in the bottom of the seventh when Christian Vazquez reached on a two-out single off Keuchel, took second on a wild pitch, scoring on Holt’s single to right field, before Holt got caught trying to stretch a double.
But the Sox bullpen allowed the Astros to tie the game in the eighth. Edward Mujica replaced Buchholz, allowing the first two batters – Chris Carter and Dexter Fowler – to reach on base hits. Lefty Tommy Layne replaced Mujica, striking out both batters he faced, left-handers Jason Castro and Jon Singleton.
Groundball specialist Burke Badenhop entered to face Matt Dominquez, who grounded to shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who elected for a force play at second. But Fowler beat the throw to Dustin Pedroia, with Gregorio Petit, pinch-running for Carter, racing home.
Pedroia threw to catcher Christian Vazquez, who attempted to chase Petit up the third base line. But as Vazquez took a circuitous route, Petit ran around him, with Vazquez throwing to Badenhop at the plate. But, Badenhop dropped the ball, as Petit tumbled over him with the tying run.
Manager John Farrell took two challenges on the play – for the play at second base and at the plate. But both calls on the field stood.