Astros - 011 000 000 - 2 7 1 Red Sox - 401 020 00x - 7 11 0Clay Buchholz turned in his fifth consecutive strong start (7.2-6-2-2-10, 109) and David Ortiz collected three hits, including his first home run of the season, and scored three runs as the Red Sox cruised past the Astros in the first game of a four-game series.
The Red Sox have won all eight of their series-opening contests this season, a new franchise record. The 1917 team won the first game of its first seven series.
Boston battered Philip Humber (4.2-10-7-3-5, 88) in the first inning. With one out, Daniel Nava walked, took second on a passed ball, and scored on Dustin Pedroia's single. Pedroia then stole second without a throw and came home on Ortiz's single (an outfield error on Ortiz's hit allowed Flo to advance to second). After Mike Napoli struck out, Mike Carp doubled Ortiz home and Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled Carp in.
Ortiz led off the third with a home run to dead center. He also singled in the fifth, raced gingerly to third on Carp's single, and scored on Salty's second hit of the night. Will Middlebrooks followed with an RBI double that scored Carp.
Ortiz is now 11-for-20 (.550) in his five games. He has hit safely in 17 straight games, dating back to July 2, 2012.
Buchholz reached double digits in strikeouts for the second time in his last three games. He has pitched at least seven innings in all five starts this year, and his ERA is now 1.19. [For those who care about pitcher wins: Buchholz joins Babe Ruth (1917), Pedro Martinez (2000), and Josh Beckett (2007) as the only Red Sox pitchers to win five games in April.]
Daniel Bard pitched the ninth inning, allowing a two-out single and striking out one batter. His fastball was 93-95, but his control was slightly shaky.
Philip Humber / Clay Buchholz