The Red Sox clawed their way out of yet another hole tonight, beating the lowly Astros 15-10 in Houston to notch their 69th win of the year, matching last year's total.
John Farrell's decision to rest his usual rotation and start Steven Wright looked shaky, as Wright lasted just one inning and gave up three runs. Replacement Brandon Workman didn't fare much better, surrendering four more runs over the next three innings leaving the Red Sox in a 7-3 hole with all the makings of a game that they would lose and would tax their bullpen.
Boston dug deep and started putting up runs, though. They tallied five in the 5th inning and five in the 6th, getting production from virtually everyone in the lineup on the way to their eventual five-run win.
Jacoby Ellsbury led the way with two monster home runs. In both cases, Ells appeared to guess right and make Astros pitching pay for balls left up in the zone, and he yanked both of them deep into the right field stands. Ellsbury drove in three runs and also walked twice. His homers marked a continued increase in power, as Jacoby has six bombs since July 4th, with just one in the three months before that. Somewhere, Scott Boras is rubbing his hands together and laughing maniacally (at least, we assume he is).
David Ortiz added four singles and a walk -- ho hum, his OBP is up to .407. Shane Victorino had three hits and four runs; Dustin Pedroia and Jonny Gomes each had two hits -- and Gomes didn't even start the game. In fact, Gomes entered the game pinch-hitting for Mike Carp in the 6th, promptly homered, and ended up leading the team in RBI with four.
The Astros are garbage. It was clear (well, it was clear when their ownership put this farce of a roster together, but I digress) when the Astros were up four in the bottom of the 4th. Workman had given up a triple and a single to start the inning and was rattled, and Robbie Grossman -- the team's leadoff hitter, somehow -- decided to sacrifice bunt the runner over. Later in the inning the team ran a meaningless double-steal, and Ryan Lavarnway threw the lead runner out at 3rd base. The team was giving away outs left and right, and it ended up hurting them.
Hits, runs, walks, hit-by-pitches, steals, running into outs, a stupid hill in the outfield, unnecessary bunts, leaving pitchers in too long -- this game had a little of everything, and a lot of it wasn't good. But hey, a win is a win, even if it's a sloppy comeback against one of the worst teams you'll ever see.