Sox slide past Astros, 2-1, to complete sweep


Sox slide past Astros, 2-1, to complete sweep

By Sean McAdam 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.

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.

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.

"Yes.'' Terry Francona's succinct answer after being asked if he was glad to be through with interleague play for the season.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Red Sox score 7 in 7th to beat Rangers 9-4

Red Sox score 7 in 7th to beat Rangers 9-4

BOSTON (AP)  Dustin Pedroia waved home the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch, then singled in two more during Boston's seven-run seventh inning on Wednesday night and the Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 9-4 for their third straight victory.

Chris Sale (5-2) struck out six, falling short in his attempt to become the first pitcher in baseball's modern era to strike out at least 10 batters in nine straight games in one season. He allowed three earned runs, six hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings and received more runs of support in the seventh inning alone than in any previous game this season.

Sam Dyson (1-5) faced seven batters in relief of Martin Perez and gave up four hits, three walks - two intentional - and a wild pitch without retiring a batter. Mike Napoli homered for Texas, which has lost three of four to follow a 10-game winning streak.

David Price dodges media after 2nd rough rehab start

David Price dodges media after 2nd rough rehab start

If only David Price could pitch as well as he dodges the media.

The Red Sox lefty bailed on a typical post-start media session with reporters in Pawtucket on Wednesday, after his second minor league rehab outing in Triple-A was another dud.

As Price comes back from a nondescript elbow injury, difficulty retiring minor league hitters doesn't combine well with difficulty facing questions. He sat in the mid-90s in his second rehab start with Pawtucket, but allowed six runs, three earned, in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.

The PawSox were at home at McCoy Stadium against Triple-A Louisville, a Reds affiliate, and Price heard some heckling. Postgame, he wanted to hear nothing, apparently.

Per CSNNE’s Bill Messina, who was on site in Pawtucket, the media was waiting outside the clubhouse for Price, as is standard. 

PawSox media relations told the media to go to the weight room, where Price would meet them. As media headed that way, PR alerted reporters that Price was leaving and did not want to talk. Media saw a car leaving, but there was no interview.

On the mound, Price’s velocity is there, but the command is not. The Red Sox would be unwise to bring back Price before really two more minor league starts — one to show he can do well, another to show he can repeat it.

Price’s ERA in two starts for Pawtucket is 9.53. He’s gone 5 2/3 innings and allowed six earned runs, while striking out eight and walking two overall.