Astros-Red Sox Preview

BY foxsports • May 14, 2016

The Boston Red Sox's stunning streak of four games of double-digit scoring came to an end - as did their five-game winning streak.

Their offensive performance in the defeat still would have been more than enough for a victory if not for a season-worst performance by starter Steven Wright.

More big numbers on the scoreboard could be imminent with a pair of inconsistent pitchers set to take the mound when the Red Sox host the Houston Astros on Saturday.

Boston (22-14) had outscored opponents 51-16 in the previous four games, reaching at least 11 runs in each, before falling 7-6 on Friday.

The Red Sox had little trouble with another starting pitcher in tagging Lance McCullers for five runs in the second inning, but the Astros' bullpen allowed one run and Wright - who came in with a 1.52 ERA - gave up five runs in 4 1/3.

"It's pretty cool, but obviously we wanted to win tonight," said Bradley, who had three hits and extended the longest hitting streak in the majors this season to 19 games. "We put together some quality ABs. We just weren't able to score more runs."

George Springer homered and drove in four runs for Houston (15-22), which lost Thursday's opener 11-1. The right fielder is 6 for his last 13 after an 0-for-12 stretch.

"After they put up a big number on us, it was nice to put up a big number ourselves," manager A.J. Hinch said.

Marwin Gonzalez added two RBIs and has batted .361 with two homers and eight RBIs in his last nine games.

Clay Buchholz (2-3, 5.90 ERA) doesn't evoke the same confidence as Wright did. The right-hander allowed at least four runs for the fifth time in seven starts Monday, lasting five innings in a 14-7 win over Oakland, though he won his second straight outing.

He's 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA in five career starts against Houston, although he gave up five runs in 5 2/3 innings of the most recent, an 8-3 road loss April 23.

Luis Valbuena is 4 for 13 with two doubles and a home run against him.

Buchholz will be opposed by Collin McHugh (4-3, 5.50), who hasn't been much better so far. The right-hander has won his last three starts, though, and turned in just the second quality start of his disappointing season Sunday with seven innings of one-run ball in a 5-1 victory over Seattle. He had a 6.75 ERA in his previous four outings.

McHugh gave up five runs and 10 hits in a 6-2 home loss to the Red Sox on April 22.

Bradley is 3 for 4 against McHugh. Mookie Betts is 4 for 5 with two doubles and a triple in the matchup, while Xander Bogaerts is 5 for 11 with two doubles and Brock Holt 4 for 10.

Bogaerts is batting .405 with two home runs and five RBIs during an eight-game hit streak, Travis Shaw is at .526 on a five-game run and Hanley Ramirez 9 for 18 in a five-game streak. Betts has driven in eight runs in the last five games.

Boston has homered in 14 straight contests.



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