Astros 2, Red Sox 0

Despite the Red Sox having the tying run on third base in the
seventh inning, Astros rookie left-hander Brett Oberholtzer wanted
to stay in Monday’s game.

Oberholtzer said he told Houston manager Bo Porter that they
were going to try and get through the inning.

Oberholtzer delivered.

He struck out Brandon Snyder to end the inning, leaving Jonny
Gomes, who had doubled to lead off the inning, stranded at
third.

Oberholtzer threw seven shutout innings, and L.J. Hoes scored
twice to lead the Astros to a 2-0 win over the Red Sox.

Oberholtzer (2-0) allowed four hits while walking two and
striking out two.

In his first two career starts, Oberholtzer has thrown 14
scoreless innings, allowing seven hits.

He became the first Astros pitcher to throw at least 14
scoreless innings over his first two major league starts. He is
also the first major league pitcher with at least seven scoreless
innings in his first two starts since Philadelphia’s Marty Bystrom
did it in 1980.

Oberholtzer said he told himself before the game to pound the
strike zone and stay confident.

”For me, my mindset is to attack and throw strikes,”
Oberholtzer said. ”Obviously, I am always confident. I told myself
today that they were either going to get me early or not at all, so
I just came out, attacked the zone, mixed it up.”

Porter said Oberholtzer was tremendous.

”Even the start against Baltimore against that lineup he did a
great job of mixing his pitches, getting early contact,” Porter
said.

”Today, against a really good hitting lineup I felt like he did
a tremendous job of pitching to the inner third of the plate and
really attacking from the standpoint where he didn’t put himself
into too many deep counts where he was forced to throw a
fastball.”

Hoes and Jonathan Villar each had two hits for the Astros, who
snapped a four-game losing streak.

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the fifth. Hoes led off with a single
and stole second and scored on a single by Robbie Grossman.

The Astros added a run in the seventh to make it 2-0.

Hoes led off the inning with a double and scored on a suicide
squeeze bunt by Brandon Barnes off Junichi Tazawa.

The Red Sox, who lost for the second time in their past seven
games, put runners on the corners with two outs in the eighth after
a David Ortiz bloop single off Wesley Wright advanced Jacoby
Ellsbury to third, but Josh Fields struck out Mike Napoli to end
the inning.

Fields struck out the side in the ninth for his first career
save.

”I felt pretty good,” Fields said. ”I was trying to be as
aggressive as I could. I knew I had one run for a cushion, so I was
coming right after those guys as hard as I could hoping they’d get
themselves out.”

Oberholtzer did not allow a hit until Dustin Pedroia’s single in
the fourth. He was caught stealing to end the inning.

Stephen Drew laced a two-out double to right in the fifth but
was left stranded.

Boston threatened in the sixth with a two-out single by Pedroia
and a walk to Ortiz, but Oberholtzer got a groundout by Napoli to
second to end the inning.

Boston starter John Lackey appeared to have rolled his left
ankle to end the second inning, coming off the mound for a soft
chopper hit by Matt Dominguez. Lackey threw to first for the third
out and hobbled off the field with a trainer and coach, but came
back out for the third inning.

”I am sure you guys saw it; I rolled my ankle pretty good,”
Lackey said. ”I’ve done it several times playing other sports, but
it definitely didn’t feel great. I wasn’t going anywhere. I just
taped it. I pitched fine.

”I don’t think it affected the way I threw the ball or
anything. They were definitely keeping an eye on me to make sure it
did not affect my delivery. Nothing happened with my arm.”

Lackey (7-9), who said his ankle will not affect his next start
despite limping noticeably after the game, allowed two runs and
eight hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts in six innings.

Lackey has lost three straight decisions.

”I thought John had really good stuff tonight,” Boston manager
John Farrell said. ”He had good secondary stuff and got a lot of
key strikeouts when he needed them. Oberholtzer threw the ball over
the plate.

”He got ahead of us a lot and when we were able to get a chance
off him – which was not too often tonight – he was able to get the
key outs when he needed it in a couple of spots.”

NOTES: Red Sox OF Shane Victorino was selected AL Player of the
Week Monday for the week of July 29-August 4. … Red Sox OF Daniel
Nava will miss the three-game series against the Astros after being
placed on paternity leave Monday for the birth of his daughter,
Faith, who was born Monday. Boston recalled RHP Brandon Workman
from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Nava’s spot on the roster. …
Houston minor league pitcher LHP Sergio Escalona was suspended 50
games Monday for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug
Prevention and Treatment Program. Escalona was pitching at Double-A
Corpus Christi. … Jordan Lyles starts for Houston against
Boston’s Steven Wright in the second game of the series on
Tuesday.