By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox InsiderFollow @sean_mcadam
HOUSTON -- On a day in which the Red Sox stranded 12 baserunners and were just 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position, it was perhaps fitting that they would push across the winning run without so much as swinging the bat.
Kevin Youkilis worked a based-loaded walk in the top of the ninth, forcing home Drew Sutton with what proved to be the difference in a 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros.
The Astros had intentionally walked Adrian Gonzalez to pitch to Youkilis, who foiled the strategy by drawing a five-pitch walk from reliever Mark Melancon.
The win gave the Sox a sweep of their weekend series here, a four-game winning streak and left them with an interleague record of 10-8.
Josh Beckett, named earlier Sunday as an American League All-Star, picked up his seventh win, allowing just one on five hits over eight innings while fanning a season high 11 hitters.
Jonathan Papelbon locked down the ninth inning for his 17th save in 18 tries.
The Sox scored their first run in the fourth on a fielder's choicethrowing error by first baseman Brett Wallace.
Houston's only run came in the when pinch-hitter Angel Sanchez singled home Wallace (leadoff double) from second base.
STAR OF THE GAME: Josh Beckett
Beckett turned in another gem, limiting the Astros to a single run over eight innings, but until the Red Sox rallied in the top of the ninth, he stood to take a tough-luck no decision.
Named to the All-Star team earlier in the day, Beckett struck out a season-high 11 and allowed just five hits -- four of them singles.
HONORABLE MENTION: Kevin Youkilis
If nothing else, Youkilis had an eventful day.
He singled and scored the first run in the fourth, getting spiked by Houston catcher Carlos Corporan in the process.
In the ninth, after the Astros walked Adrian Gonzalez, Youkilis worked had a bases-loaded walk to force in the winning run.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Mark Melancon
Melancon walked pinch-hitter Drew Sutton to start trouble for the Astros in the ninth, and after a single, fielder's choice and an intentional walk, walked Youkilis to lose the game for Houston.
In a 1-1 game in the bottom of the eighth, Beckett allowed a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Jeff Keppinger, and when Michael Bourn got down a sacrifice bunt, the Astros had the potential go-ahead run in scoring position.
But Beckett got Clint Barmes to ground out, then retired Hunter Pence on a flyout to center, setting the stage for the Sox' ninth-inning heroics.
BY THE NUMBERS
Josh Beckett had his 9th straight start of six-plus innings during which he's allowed five or fewer hits, the longest streak in franchise history.
QUOTE OF NOTE
"Yes.'' Terry Francona's succinct answer after being asked if he was glad to be through with interleague play for the season.