The Red Sox got a well-pitched game from start to finish Sunday to avert a sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros, posting a 4-1 victory to snap a two-game losing streak.
The Astros managed a run in the first off starter Eduardo Rodriguez, but that was the last run they managed. Rodriguez lasted six innings and didn't allow another run. Houston, limited to four hits, didn't collect a hit after the third inning.
After tying the game in the third, the Sox took their first lead of the series in the fourth on a solo homer from Rafael Devers. In the fifth, they added another on a double from Eduardo Nunez and an error by second baseman Yuli Gurriel.
WHO: Red Sox at Houston Astros
WHEN: 2:10 p.m.
WHERE: Minute Maid Park
SERIES TO DATE: Houston 2-0
SEASON SERIES TO DATE: Houston 4-1
STARTING PITCHERS: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 5.43) vs. RHP Justin Verlander (8-1, 2.24)
TV/RADIO: NESN/WEEI 93. FM
4:50 Control an issue for Matt Barnes again. After walking two of the four hitters he faced Saturday night in the ninth, he's issued a one-out walk to pinch-hitter Tony Kemp, bringing the potential tying run to the plate.
4:12 Strong throw from Vazquez and nice tag from Pearce, erasing Correa with a back pick at first.
4:01 Like teammate Gerritt Cole last weekend at Fenway, Verlander is feeding Michael Chavis a steady diet of fastballs. To date, Chavis hasn't been able to handle them -- three at-bats, three strikeouts.
3:43 Today, it's the Astros who are making the mistakes. Error by Gurriel at second allows Nunez to score the third Red Sox run.
3:36 Rodriguez a bit more efficient in the last two innings, needing just 25 pitches in the third and fourth after throwing 40 over the first two. Given the load on the bullpen last night, the deeper he goes, the better for the Sox.
3:17 Devers does it at the plate, too, hammering a four-seamer to straightaway center field for his seventh homer -- all in the last 20 games. That gives the Red Sox their first lead in the series.
3:12 Superb barehand play by Rafael Devers, who charges in, grabs a slow roller by Carlos Correa and makes an on-target throw to first to get the first out. Worth noting: since Devers made that costly ninth-inning error in Chicago on May 2, he's not committed an error.
3:02 Not a base hit with runners in scoring position, but the next best thing for the Red Sox: a sacrifice fly to center by Andrew Benintendi, scoring Steve Pearce from third. Sox remain a combined 2-for-18 with RISP in the series.
2:38 Red Sox have their hands full with Justin Verlander today -- he's got four strikeouts in the first two innings and is pumping premium gas, filling up the zone with ease.
2:27 More slipshod defense from the Red Sox, as Eduardo Nunez's throw to the plate is off-line, only to be mishandled by Christian Vazquez, allowing Aledmys Diaz to score from second.