Houston's bats stay hot

Astros thump Red Sox, Urquidy makes strong return from IL

Houston starts the series against Boston with a win. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

After ending an overall disappointing weekend where they could have won all three games but instead only salvaged the win in the finale against the Padres, the Astros turned the page to a new opponent: the Red Sox. They picked up a four-game series with Boston Monday afternoon and started it with an explosive offensive performance, crushing them for the win.

Final Score: Astros 11, Red Sox 2

Astros' Record: 29-24, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (4-2)

Losing Pitcher: Eduardo Rodriguez (5-4)

Houston grabs and builds on a lead

Much like they have done in recent games, the Astros' offense was able to grab and then build on an early lead. They plated two in the bottom of the second, one on a sac fly by Taylor Jones, then another scoring during an inning-ending double play. Jose Altuve doubled the lead in the next inning, taking advantage of a leadoff single by Martin Maldonado by hitting a two-run homer to make it 4-0.

They struck again in the bottom of the fifth, getting a single and two walks to load the bases for Kyle Tucker. He continued his hot month of May, bringing in two runs on a two-RBI single, extending Houston's advantage to 6-0. Once again, that lead was being held well by Houston's starter, with hopes for a good performance from the bullpen.

Urquidy makes a strong return from the IL

Meanwhile, in his return from the injured list, Jose Urquidy was making easy work of Boston's lineup. He allowed just one baserunner in the first four innings, a two-out walk in the top of the fourth, but would get the next batter out to erase it.
He allowed his first hit in the next inning, a two-out ground-rule double, but would strand that runner as well, keeping the Red Sox off the board.

Boston broke through in the top of the sixth, getting a run on two doubles to cut the lead to 6-1. Urquidy battled back, retiring the next two batters, both on strikeouts, bringing his total to nine on the day, and ending a quality start. His final line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 87 P.

Astros get the lopsided win

The Astros put that run back on the board and more in the bottom of the sixth, as they loaded the bases with two outs. That set up a two-RBI single by Alex Bregman, making it a seven-run lead and opening the floodgates for two more hits, an RBI double by Carlos Correa and a two-RBI single by Tucker, making it 11-1. With Urquidy's day done, Enoli Paredes took over as Houston's first reliever of the game in the top of the seventh. He tossed an impressive frame, striking out the side to keep the lead at ten runs.

Nivaldo Rodriguez, who recently rejoined the team, made his second appearance in 2021 in the top of the eighth. Boston would get a run against him, a solo home run to make it 11-2. With the score still there in the top of the ninth, Rodriguez returned for another inning, closing out the win with a scoreless inning.

Up Next: Game two of this four-game set will be a night start with first pitch at 7:10 PM Central. Luis Garcia (3-3, 2.93 ERA) is set to start the Astros, while the Red Sox will go with Garrett Richards (4-3, 3.83 ERA).

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Keep an eye on Alex Bowman this weekend. Image via: Wiki Commons.

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