Houston pounds Boston

Astros ride early lead to win over Red Sox in series opener

Astros' Yordan Alvarez
Yordan Alvarez had a monster homer in Tuesday's opener. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Yordan Alvarez had a monster homer in Tuesday's opener.

With a day off on Monday to catch some rest, and winners of six of their last eight games, including three against this same Red Sox team, the Astros entered Fenway Park Tuesday night with some confidence on their side. It showed as they would pound Boston to get an early lead which they rode to the win in this three-game series opener.

Final Score: Astros 7, Red Sox 1

Astros' Record: 34-26, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Martin Perez (4-3)

Houston blows it open early

Houston did not go easy on Martin Perez, whose last start resulted in 7.2 shutout innings against the Astros last week. Carlos Correa started the scoring with a one-out solo homer in the top of the first, then played a part in a five-run second. They began the inning with three straight hits, including a two-RBI single by Martin Maldonado.

Correa doubled in another, then with the bases loaded, Yordan Alvarez would get hit by a pitch before an RBI single by Yuli Gurriel made it 6-0. In the top of the fourth, Alvarez extended the lead another run with a monster solo homer 451 feet over the center-field wall.

Valdez does it again

Framber Valdez worked well with the lead, repeating his success against Boston in his seven-inning ten strikeout start against them on June 2nd. He allowed just one baserunner through the first three frames, a leadoff single in the bottom of the third, which he would erase. He faced trouble in the bottom of the fourth, putting two runners on via a hit batter and single, setting up a one-out RBI-groundout to get Boston on the board at 7-1.

He bounced back from that, stranding two more runners in the fifth, another in the sixth, then posting a 1-2-3 seventh. He faced two more batters, hitting one and getting another out to start the eighth. His final line: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 96 P.

Astros take the opener

Enoli Paredes came in from the bullpen to finish the eighth, erasing the inherited runner along with one of his own to keep it a six-run game going to the ninth. Blake Taylor came on to wrap things up, erasing a two-out double to finish off the win for Houston, the seventh in their last nine games.

Up Next: Another 6:10 PM Central start awaits these two teams for the middle game Wednesday night. Jake Odorizzi (0-3, 7.16 ERA) will try to get his first win of the year and lock up the series for the Astros, while Nathan Eovaldi (7-2, 3.78 ERA) will look to even things up for Boston.

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Justin Verlander will start for the Astros on Friday night. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Houston Astros (22-28, third in the AL West) vs. Oakland Athletics (21-31, fourth in the AL West)

Oakland, California; Friday, 9:40 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Justin Verlander (2-2, 3.97 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 26 strikeouts); Athletics: Ross Stripling (1-8, 5.19 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 32 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Astros -170, Athletics +142; over/under is 8 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Oakland Athletics begin a three-game series at home against the Houston Astros on Friday.

Oakland has a 21-31 record overall and a 12-14 record in home games. The Athletics have hit 65 total home runs to rank third in the AL.

Houston is 22-28 overall and 8-13 in road games. The Astros have a 13-4 record in games when they did not allow a home run.

The teams match up Friday for the fifth time this season. The Astros lead the season series 4-0.

TOP PERFORMERS: Brent Rooker has 11 home runs, 17 walks and 32 RBI while hitting .286 for the Athletics. Max Schuemann is 12-for-35 with a double and two RBI over the past 10 games.

Kyle Tucker leads Houston with 17 home runs while slugging .638. Alex Bregman is 9-for-38 with three home runs and six RBI over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Athletics: 2-8, .225 batting average, 5.25 ERA, outscored by 27 runs

Astros: 7-3, .272 batting average, 3.13 ERA, outscored opponents by 20 runs

INJURIES: Athletics: Esteury Ruiz: 10-Day IL (wrist), Darell Hernaiz: 60-Day IL (ankle), Alex Wood: 15-Day IL (rotator cuff), Paul Blackburn: 15-Day IL (foot), Joseph Boyle: 15-Day IL (back), Freddy Tarnok: 60-Day IL (hip), Luis Medina: 60-Day IL (knee), Sean Newcomb: 60-Day IL (knee), Aledmys Diaz: 60-Day IL (calf), Miguel Andujar: 10-Day IL (knee), Ken Waldichuk: 60-Day IL (elbow), Trevor Gott: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Astros: Oliver Ortega: 60-Day IL (elbow), Bennett Sousa: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Penn Murfee: 60-Day IL (elbow), Luis Garcia: 60-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (elbow), Jose Urquidy: 15-Day IL (forearm), Kendall Graveman: 60-Day IL (elbow)

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