Houston hands Red Sox a loss SaturdayBy MOISE KAPENDA BOWER
The Sports Xchange
July 12. 2014 11:59PM
HOUSTON - Jose Altuve doubled and scored twice, including in the eighth inning to provide the Houston Astros the go-ahead run in a 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.
Altuve snapped a 2-2 tie when he crossed home plate on a two-out infield single by Astros designated hitter Chris Carter.With no shot to retire Carter at first base, Red Sox shortstop Brock Holt fielded the grounder and flipped to second base in an attempt to erase Astros center fielder George Springer.However, his throw pulled Dustin Pedroia off the bag, enabling Springer to slide in safely as Altuve scored.
The save was Chad Qualls' 10th on the season.
Altuve doubled with two out in the third inning and scored when Astros catcher Jason Castro delivered a two-run home run to right-center field, a wall-scraping blast that barely cleared the glove of Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts.
It capped a determined nine-pitch at-bat by Castro against Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy (1-8) and gave Houston a 2-0 lead.
Peavy departed after allowing Altuve's second double, having surrendered three runs on six hits and one walk with a season-high nine strikeouts.
Springer reached base in the eighth on an intentional walk issued by Boston left-hander Andrew Miller, who then struck out Jon Singleton.
After designated hitter David Ortiz sliced the 2-0 deficit in half with his solo home run off Houston left-hander Brett Oberholtzer in the fourth, the Red Sox (42-52) pulled even when Pedroia got the better of right-hander Josh Fields (2-4) during their nine-pitch confrontation in the seventh.
Oberholtzer surrendered 11 hits before departing with one out in the seventh, including consecutive singles to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., and Betts to open the frame.
Pedroia then delivered a sacrifice fly to center off Fields with one out that scored Bradley Jr.
NOTES: With Astros RHP Collin McHugh landing on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to July 7) because of a right middle finger nail avulsion and manager Bo Porter aiming to provide RHP Jarred Cosart additional rest with the All-Star break upcoming, RHP Brad Peacock will start the series finale against the Red Sox on Sunday. ... Red Sox rookie C Christian Vazquez will serve as the backstop for three members of the starting rotation: RHPs Clay Buchholz, John Lackey and Rubby De La Rosa. Veteran David Ross will catch LHP Jon Lester and RHP Jake Peavy, who started on Saturday. ... The Astros planned to reinstate CF Dexter Fowler from the 15-day disabled list Saturday but opted to give him additional rest through the All-Star break. Fowler was placed on the disabled list on June 30 (backdated to June 27) because of a strained right intercostal.