Red Sox - 300 010 141 - 10 13 0 Astros - 100 001 101 - 4 11 1The Red Sox began the game with three quick runs, as the first five batters reached base, and after the Astros came close to tying the game (or taking a lead) in the seventh, Boston immediately erupted for four runs, three on a long blast to left field from Darnell McDonald, whose slugging percentage before that swing was .182, to pull away for good.
Miller (6-7-2-2-3, 85) allowed at least one baserunner in each inning, but only three Astros were able to get past first base against him, and two of those were in the first inning.
Alfredo Aceves got into some hot water in the seventh. Working with a 5-2 lead, he retired the first two batters, but then allowed two singles and a walk, loading the bases. Daniel Bard came in and walked Hunter Pence to force in a run, but considering that Pence had singled twice and homered in his three previous at-bats, that may not have been so bad. Bard then retired Carlos Lee on a first-pitch ground out.
Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, and Kevin Youkilis each went 3-for-5, with an RBI; Gonzalez also scored three runs. Jacoby Ellsbury doubled, walked, and scored twice.
Yamaico Navarro hit his first major league home run as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning. The last Red Sox player to do that was Juan Diaz (June 23, 2002). Diaz's home run came in his eighth, and last, major league plate appearance. (Diaz was still playing baseball as recently as 2010, however, in the independent Northern League.)
The Yankees beat the Mets this afternoon 5-2 for their 17th win in their last 21 games (since being swept by the Red Sox on June 7-9). Boston remains 2.5 GB.
Andrew Miller / J.A. Happ
This is Miller's third start since being called up from Pawtucket last month. In his last outing, against the Pirates, he allowed five hits and one earned run in six innings.
In 16 starts, Happ has a 5.54 ERA and 1.54 WHIP (92 hits and 43 walks in 87.2 innings). ... At the plate, he's a surprising 7-for-24, with an .804 OPS. Of the eight regulars in the Phillies' lineup, only two have an OPS over .800 (Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard).
Terry Francona is considering playing Adrian Gonzalez in RF today.
Unfortunately, Dustin Pedroia did not tell us what he barked at umpire Laz Diaz as he ran to first base after his game-tying single last night: "I don't even remember, man. I'm out of my mind half the time anyway." (I assume FY does not want to incur a fine.)
In addition to the Francona/Brad Mills and Ron Johnson/Chris Johnson connections between the two teams, Carl Crawford and Astros center fielder Michael Bourn played on the same Little League team in Houston.
AL East: Roy Halladay returns to Toronto to face the Jays at 1 PM. Yankees/Mets at 4 PM and Cardinals/Rays at 7 PM.