Houston's bats are hot

Houston keeps mashing, secures another series win against Boston

Houston kept barreling up balls in Wednesday's game in Boston. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With an offensive statement in the opener of this three-game set, Houston entered Wednesday's middle game with a chance to lock up their third-straight series and eighth win in their last ten games. They would get it, as their lineup powered the way to the victory.

Final Score: Astros 8, Red Sox 3

Astros' Record: 35-26, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (1-3)

Losing Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi (7-3)

Odorizzi overcomes tough first inning

Jake Odorizzi looked like he may be en route to an early exit in Wednesday's middle game, thanks to a rough first inning. He started his night with a walk, followed by a double to put runners on second and third. Both would score, one on a sac fly and the other on an RBI single, giving Boston a 2-0 lead.

He settled in, though, after that, with a 1-2-3 second and third, getting back on track. He allowed a solo homer to start the bottom of the fourth but retired the next six batters in a row to complete five innings. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 77 P.

Houston's bats keep connecting

He left in line for the win, thanks to another strong performance from Houston's offense. Down 2-0 after the first inning, they went to work in the top of the second, getting back-to-back two-out doubles to cut the lead in half. They followed that with a four-run third, starting with a leadoff solo homer by Jose Altuve, then RBI hits by Yordan Alvarez, Yuli Gurriel, and Michael Brantley, giving the Astros a 5-2 lead at the time.

Now a two-run game in the bottom of the sixth at 5-3, and with Odorizzi's day done, Cristian Javier would come in to try and get through as much as he could. After he sat down Boston 1-2-3 in the bottom of the sixth, Houston added a run in the top of the seventh on a sac fly by Myles Straw, pushing it back to a three-run game. Javier followed that with a five-pitch bottom of the inning. Houston added more insurance in the top of the eighth, with Carlos Correa reaching base to set up a two-run bomb by Alex Bregman, making it 8-3.

Javier goes the rest of the way as Astros secure the series

Javier kept going in the bottom of the eighth and recorded another scoreless frame by erasing a one-out single, then tried to finish things off in the ninth. He'd make quick work of Boston once again, finishing the "piggy-back" for Odorizzi in the two-pitcher game that kept the Astros in step with the Oakland A's in the battle for best in the AL West.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set and the last of the seven-game season series between Houston and Boston will be another 6:10 PM Central start on Thursday. The Astros will go up against Eduardo Rodriguez (5-4, 5.59 ERA) for Boston, who allowed six runs to Houston when they squared off on May 31st. Zack Greinke (6-2, 3.38 ERA) will be on the mound for the Astros.

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