Gonzalez Leads Red Sox To 7-5 Win Over Astros

Adrian Gonzalez, center, celebrates with teammates after beating the Houston Astros. (AP)
Adrian Gonzalez, center, celebrates with teammates after beating the Houston Astros. (AP)

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 Astrodome.

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

"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 Norris.

"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.

This program aired on July 2, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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