Red Sox 7, Astros 5

The Boston Red Sox got a leadoff homer from Marco Scutaro before

their high-scoring offense just stalled.

Until the seventh.

Adrian Gonzalez hit a go-ahead two-run double after Dustin

Pedroia drove in a pair of runs during Boston’s six-run inning,

helping the Red Sox rally for a 7-5 win over the Houston Astros on

Friday night.

Scutaro started the game with his third homer of the season, but

Boston didn’t get another hit until J.D. Drew began the seventh

with a single.

Josh Reddick and Drew Sutton each drove in a run before

Pedroia’s bases-loaded single with one out tied it at 5 and set up

Gonzalez’s clutch swing.

”It won the game for us, so obviously it was big,” Gonzalez

said of the seventh. ”We just had a great inning.”

Houston starter Bud Norris struck out 10 in six-plus innings,

but was charged with four runs and four hits in the opener of the

third-ever series between these teams and first since 2008.

Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield yielded a season-high 11

hits with five runs in 5 1-3 innings in his first appearance

against the Astros since July 1993 for the Pirates at the


Wakefield loved watching his team fight back from its four-run


”It was great,” he said. ”As bad as I pitched and we still

came out on top, it’s a huge boost for us.”

Jonathan Papelbon worked around Hunter Pence’s two-out single to

earn his 16th save.

Pence finished with two hits and two RBIs for the last-place

Astros, who have dropped 12 of 16.

Reddick’s RBI double in the seventh drove in Drew and chased


”We’re just trying to find a way to score; it was kind of a

weird game,” Pedroia said. ”(Norris) was very good early on so we

were able to get him out of there and get some runs.”

Sutton delivered a run-scoring single before Sergio Escalona

(1-1) plunked pinch-hitter Darnell McDonald to load the bases and

set up Pedroia’s hit.

”We hadn’t done a whole lot up to that point,” Red Sox manager

Terry Francona said. ”We started to get something going.

(McDonald) getting hit by that pitch, I know in the midst of all

that it may not seem like a big deal, but all of the sudden they’ve

got the bases loaded and they’ve got nowhere to put anybody and we

strung together some good at-bats.”

Norris walked one in the second, third, fifth and sixth, but

largely stayed out of trouble until the seventh. All the strikeouts

helped, including the side in the fourth inning.

”Bud pitched extremely well,” Houston manager Brad Mills said.

”We just couldn’t stop that seventh inning. They got it started,

and we just couldn’t get it stopped.”

The 26-year-old Norris is hoping Friday’s experience will help

him in the future.

”You take the good and the bad, and try to get better, and

learn,” he said. ”That’s where this team is at right now, a lot

of young guys, learning day in and day out. That’s what it’s all

about. I still need to learn to get better.”

Norris also singled in Clint Barmes to give Houston a 5-1 lead

in the sixth. Norris’ hit chased Wakefield, who was replaced by Dan

Wheeler (1-1).

Carlos Lee had an RBI double for the Astros, and Angel Sanchez

drove in a run with a bunt hit. Pence had a sacrifice fly in the

first and a run-scoring ground-rule double in the second when a fan

reached onto the field to try and grab the grounder and was

escorted out of the stadium after the play.

David Ortiz, who is normally the designated hitter for Boston,

struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.

NOTES: Scutaro was batting leadoff with Jacoby Ellsbury out with

an illness. Francona said Ellsbury was receiving fluids and he

wasn’t sure if he’d be ready to play Saturday. … Houston 2B Jeff

Keppinger was out for the second straight day after experiencing

nausea before Thursday’s game. … Boston’s Kevin Youkilis returned

after sitting out Thursday’s game in Philadelphia with a bone

bruise in his left foot. … Francona says LF Carl Crawford is

unlikely to return to the lineup when he’s due to come off the

disabled list on Sunday. Crawford strained a hamstring in a June 17

game against Milwaukee. ”He needs some more time,” Francona said.

Crawford, a Houston native, was disappointed that he probably won’t

get to play in his hometown this weekend. ”We’re trying to move as

quickly as we can,” Crawford said of his recovery. … Francona

says he may play Ortiz at first base on Saturday to face LHP J.A.

Happ. Ortiz is hitting .341 against left-handers this season, and

.290 against right-handers.