Sox rally for 7-5 win over Astros

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Sox rally for 7-5 win over Astros

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
HOUSTON -- For six innings, the Red Sox, with their bats silent, seemed headed for another embarrassing loss to an inferior National League team.

Then came the comeback.

The Red Sox rallied for six runs in the seventh inning and stole a 7-5 win from the Houston Astros.

Dustin Pedroia hit a cue shot to right with the bases loaded to tie the game and Adrian Gonzalez followed with a two-run double to left-center, giving the Red Sox their first
lead since the top of the first when Marco Scutaro led off the game with a home run.

Astros starter Bud Norris shut the Sox down after Scutaro's homer and didn't allow a second hit until J.D. Drew's leadoff single in the fateful seventh.

After Tim Wakefield was roughed up for five runs on 11 hits in 5 13 innings, five Red Sox relievers combined to shut out Houston for the final 3 23 innings.

The victory was the second in a row for the Sox, marking their first time they'd won consecutive games since June 19-20.

STAR OF THE GAME: Adrian Gonzalez

There's a reason Gonzalez leads the majors in RBI this season.

After looking overmatched in his first three at-bats (two strikeouts and a double play), Gonzalez used his patented inside-out swing to drill a two-run double to left field as part of the Red Sox' six-run seventh inning.

HONORABLE MENTION: Dustin Pedroia

Pedroia was on base three times, but his best at-bat came in the seventh, right before Gonzalez put the Sox up by two.

With the bases loaded, Pedroia hit a cue shot in between first baseman Brett Wallace and the first-base bag, scoring two runs and giving the Red Sox a fresh start with their 5-5 tie.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Sergio Escalona

After Houston starter Bud Norris tired, Brad Mills went to his bullpen -- with disastrous results.

Escalona was the first (and worst) culprit. First he gave up a rocket that ate up shortstop Clint Barmes. Then, he managed to hit Darnell McDonald (hitting all of .115 at the time), loading the bases and leading to Pedroia's and Gonzalez's heroics.

TURNING POINT: When Escalona hit the light-hitting McDonald,

It loaded the bases, extended the inning, forced Brad Mills to make another pitching change and gave the Sox the opportunity to complete their comeback.

BY THE NUMBERS: 74
The Red Sox have scored 74 runs in the seventh inning this season; no other team in Major League Baseball has more than 47.

QUOTE OF NOTE:
"We bailed ourselves out of that miserable start and we certainly have a long way to go. But we're playing better.'' -- Terry Francona assessing the Red Sox season at the halfway point.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

McAdam: For Dombrowski and Red Sox, the future is now

McAdam: For Dombrowski and Red Sox, the future is now

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Dave Dombrowski has jumped in. All in. With both feet.

MORE ON THE TRADE

For an executive with a reputation for making bold moves, Dombrowski may have made his boldest one yet Tueday by shipping arguably the organization's best position player prospect (Yoan Moncada) and its best pitching prospect (Michael Kopech), along with two others, to the Chicago White Sox for lefty ace Chris Sale.

Adding Sale to a rotation that already includes reigning Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and David Price gives the Red Sox the American League's best rotation and makes the Sox the team to beat in the A.L.

Hired 17 months ago with a mandate to make the Red Sox winners again after three last-place finishes in the span of four seasons, Dombrowski has acted aggressively and decisively.

Since then, he's obtained Price, Craig Kimbrel, Carson Smith, Drew Pomeranz, Tyler Thornburg and Sale. That translates into three lefty starters and three back-end power arms in the bullpen.

Of course, all those moves have come at a significant cost. Dombrowski has gone through the Red Sox' minor-league system and shredded it, sacrificing Anderson Espinoza, Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, and now, Moncada and Kopech.

The pitching, in particular, has been stripped bare, with Espinoza and Kopech representing the two best arms in the system. And in Moncada, the Sox gave up on arguably the single most talented propsect in the entire sport.

At a time when teams protect their best young players as though their existence depends on them, Dombrowski has demonstrated a willingess to move them for a chance to win now.

In exchange, the Sox have now built a super rotation, with three front-line starters, augmented by two other lefties (Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez) along with Steven Wright and Clay Buchholz.

It's a virtual certainty that the Sox will move one of those arms now, in a market where there's virtually no quality free-agent starters available.

Buchholz, who stands to earn $13.5 million in 2017, would give them payroll relief, while Rodriguez, because of his youth and upside, might give the team its biggest return.

Dombrowski's moves create a window for the Red Sox. Sale's deal runs through 2019, while Price has an opt-out in his deal after 2018.

That creates some urgency for the Red Sox to capitalize on the strength of their rotation and a nucleus of young position players -- Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi -- and win multiple titles in the next few seasons.

Anything less will be considered a failure.

It's championship-or-bust time at Fenway.

Players, analysts weigh in on Chris Sale trade

Players, analysts weigh in on Chris Sale trade

The Red Sox made a major splash with Tuesday’s Chris Sale, the second swap of the day after acquiring Tyler Thornburg from the Brewers. 

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While Boston had to give up top prospect Yoan Moncada and three other legitimate prospects in the trade, the deal gives them a very deep starting rotation that figures to see last offseason’s big acquisition -- David Price -- end up as Boston’s No. 3 starter. 

Here’s what the reaction looked like as the trade came down: 

CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni gave the deal his stamp of approval. 

Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan cautioned against thinking the Red Sox at a discount. 

Blake Swihart was not one of the four prospects involved in the deal, and he’ll have a heck of a team to work with going forward. 

In Tampa, Chris Archer realized the AL East has a new ace. 

And one Sox fan pointed out that Dave Dombrowski has absolutely dumped out what was once a large and top-heavy chest of prospects.