Ramirez's 2-run HR lifts Red Sox over Astros 5-4
BOSTON (AP) Hanley Ramirez handed the Boston Red Sox another well-timed win.
Ramirez connected with a one-handed swing for a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning that the Red Sox over the Houston Astros 5-4 Sunday.
''I was sitting on a changeup. I was still in front, but put a good follow-through,'' he said, adding he'd hit ''a couple'' of home runs in similar fashion.
''Not a lot, but I've done it before,'' he said.
Ramirez hooked a low pitch into the first row of the Green Monster seats against Tony Sipp (2-4) after David Ortiz walked.
Ryan Hanigan and Pablo Sandoval each had three hits as the Red Sox won their third straight series. They hadn't done that since taking their first three of the season.
''Everybody went nuts,'' Hanigan said of the homer. ''Jumped on him when he got in the dugout, pounded his head.''
Astros manager A.J. Hinch felt it was a tough break on a good pitch by Sipp.
''That one in particular is a below-the-zone changeup that Hanley got on his front foot, one arm, popped it up to left at the most critical time,'' Hinch said. ''So there's a little bit of unlucky there.''
Rookie Carlos Correa and Evan Gattis hit consecutive homers over the Monster for AL West-leading Houston, which lost its second in a row after a five-game winning streak.
Matt Barnes (3-2) got the victory, striking out the only batter he faced. Koji Uehara worked the ninth for his 19th save.
Trailing 3-1 in the seventh, the Astros jumped ahead on the back-to-back homers off Alexi Ogando. Correa's went to left-center before Gattis' barely cleared the wall.
Boston was aided by errors on consecutive plays in taking a 3-1 edge against Will Harris. Ramirez reached on Correa's wild throw from shortstop, and scored when Gattis bobbled Sandoval's double into the left field corner. Hanigan added his second RBI single.
Boston rookie left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez struck out eight over five innings, allowing one run, six hits and walking two. It's the sixth time in eight starts he's given up one or no runs.
Astros starter Lance McCullers gave up one run and seven hits in five innings.
''I don't know for sure, but I feel like something a little mechanically may have been off in my windup,'' he said.
PAPI, GRAB YOUR GLOVE
Ortiz started at first base in a noninterleague game for the first time since Aug. 5, 2006, when the Red Sox played on the road against Tampa Bay. It was his first start at first in Fenway Park since July 16, 2005. He played in place of the slumping Mike Napoli.
WHAT A CATCH
Astros CF Jake Marisnick came running full speed from straightaway center before making a jumping catch as he banged into the Monster in left-center, robbing Brock Holt of at least a double with two runners on. He got a standing ovation from the crowd.
Houston's Jose Altuve extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
Houston's Colby Rasmus fouled off a bunt with two strikes for the second out in the ninth.
''It was surprise to anybody,'' Hinch said. ''I didn't call it.''
Astros: RHP Scott Feldman, sidelined since May 27 after right knee surgery, was expected to make a rehab start for Double-A Corpus Christi Sunday night.
Red Sox: OF Daniel Nava, on the 15-day DL with a strained left thumb, was scheduled to play his third rehab game with Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday.
Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (10-3) looks to continue his scoreless string of starts when they open a four-game series in Cleveland against RHP Carlos Carrasco (10-6) on Monday night. Keuchel has had two straight scoreless starts.
Red Sox: Off Monday. They open a two-game inter-league series at home against Miami on Tuesday. LHP Wade Miley (8-7) is slated to face Marlins RHP Dan Haren (6-5).