Houston pounds Boston

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

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

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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Luis Garcia played his part in a pitcher's duel with Carlos Rodon on Friday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With an impressive offensive onslaught to overpower Chicago in game one of this series, the Astros entered this second of four games hoping to keep their momentum going. After an impressive pitcher's duel left the game tied late into the game, Houston would edge out the win with a big walk-off in the ninth.

Final Score: Astros 2, White Sox 1

Astros' Record: 41-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryan Pressly (4-1)

Losing Pitcher: Garrett Crochet (2-3)

Garcia matches Rodon in a pitcher's duel

Both starting pitchers were very effective, save one inning, in their respective seven innings of work. For Luis Garcia, he had his struggles in the top of the first to start the game, allowing a one-out double and single to put runners on second and third, setting up an RBI single to give Chicago an early 1-0 lead.

He limited the damage to that one run, both in that inning and the rest of his night, as he would follow that with six straight scoreless frames. Once he found his groove in the fourth, he would retire 12 of 13 batters he faced over that span to get through seven one-run innings. His final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 96 P.

For Houston, it took until one out into the fifth inning to get a hit and their first baserunner against Carlos Rodon. That sparked an opportunity to grab a lead, as they would go on to load the bases still with one out but would get just one run out of it with a two-out RBI walk by Martin Maldonado to tie the game up 1-1.

Astros walk it off in the ninth

Ryne Stanek was first out of Houston's bullpen in the top of the eighth, erasing a one-out walk for a scoreless inning to keep things gridlocked. Still in a stalemate in the top of the ninth, the Astros opted to bring in closer Ryan Pressly to try and keep it tied to set up a potential walk-off. He was perfect, striking out Chicago 1-2-3 to send it to the home half.

In the bottom of the ninth, Yuli Gurriel got the winning run on base by hitting a one-out single. That brought Yordan Alvarez to the plate, who got the walk-off hit, roping a ball into the right-field corner deep enough for Gurriel to hustle from first to home to win it for Houston, 2-1.

Up Next: Now having won five in a row, the Astros will try to lock up this series in game three of four on Saturday at 6:15 PM Central. Lance Lynn (7-2, 1.51 ERA) will try to get a win for the White Sox, while Framber Valdez (3-0, 1.42 ERA) will look to continue his 2021 success for Houston.

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