Colby Rasmus’ fourth inning two out grand slam powered the Houston Astros to a come-from-behind 8-3 win over the Boston Red Sox. The win snapped a four game losing streak for Houston and set up the Astros to win the rubber game of series on ESPN in front of a national tv audience.
Early on it appeared that it would be a long day for the Astros as Boston tagged Houston starter Mike Fiers for a first inning run something manager A.J. Hinch said the team needed to avoid.
“Mentally we have to be into the situation,” said Hinch. “Our first and second innings have been tough on us. We’ve allowed a lot of damage the first couple of innings until we’ve settled into the game. We’ve had to play catch up quite a bit so making better pitches against better hitters in the top of the order not just against these guys but against any team is critical.”
Fiers wasn’t listening though gaving up a lead-off single to Mookie Betts, walked Dustin Pedroia before David Ortiz singled home the game’s first run. The lead was a bad omen once again for the Red Sox who held a 2-3 record in 2016 when scoring first. The right-hander settled down after that retiring 15 of the next 16 hitters before running into trouble in the sixth.
Houston wasted an early scoring opportunity in the first but managed to scratch out a run in the second of Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz, With one out and runners at first and third, catcher Jason Castro hit a ball right down the first base line and inside the basepath allowing Marwin Gonzalez to race home from third.
Much like they did last season, the Astros were resilient on a day in which the roof was open and sunshine bathed the field at Minute Maid Park. In the home half of the fifth the Astros struck with two outs. Jose Altuve reached on a felder’s choice followed by George Springer and Carlos Correa setting the stage for clean-up hitter Colby Rasmus. The left-handed slugger launched a 2-2 count deep into the right field seats for grand slam and Houston had a lead it would never relinquish.
“We know how good it feels to play ahead,” continued Hinch. When teams make mistakes, Altuve and Springer and Correa and Rasmus make them pay.”
Fiers returned to the mound with a four run lead but did not last long as Boston loaded the bases without out to end his fourth start of the season. Behind reliever Will Harris, Houston would escape the jam giving up just a solo run off a sacrifice fly from Brock Holt. Chris Young’s rbi double in the eighth off Ken Giles closed out the Boston scoring however Houston wasn’t finished.
In their final at bat, the Astros struck for three more runs on four doubles in the home half of the inning. Rasmus’ second extra base hit drove home Altuve who had previously doubled home Luis Valbuena who had doubled home Marwin Gonzalez off of reliever Roenis Elias.
“I think today was one of our best days of just putting up good at-bats and taking what the game gave us,” concluded HInch on the production of his team.
Altuve, Springer, Rasmus. Gonzallez and Valbuena all recorded multi-hit games in the win to back the pitching of Fiers who earned his second win of the season improving to 2-1 while Buchholz the Nederland, Texas native fell to 0-2.
Houstn and Boston conclude the series tomorrow with the ESPN Sunday Night Game of the Week at 7:05p.m. CDT.