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.