Three Run Homer In The Ninth Sinks Fields, And The Astros

Bob Levey

Robbie Grossman continued his recent power surge by adding a double and a two-run homer tonight, but the Astros fell just short as Josh Fields blew his first save of the year.

The Astros went head-to-head with one of the best offenses in baseball, but fell just short of taking the series against the Red Sox.

Offense

Robbie Grossman has been on some kind of tear since his return from Oklahoma City. Tonight he added two more hits with one of them being his third home run of the season. The home run accounted for the Astros first two runs of the game, which incidentally would be the only runs the Astros would score until they broke things open in the sixth. Grossman has raised his batting average all the way up to .265 after tonight's performance.

With the score tied at two in the sixth Robbie Grossman got things started with a lead off double. Grossman scored on an Altuve single, Altuve scored on a Castro double, and Castro scored on a Krauss sac fly. Just like that the Astros had were looking at a 5-2 lead, which was great because the Red Sox came firing back in the seventh (and UGH AGAIN IN THE NINTH).

Astros bats were quiet in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings tonight.

Pitching

Jarred Cosart started his major league career with a bang by keeping his ERA under one over his first four starts. Still, he's walked the tightrope at times over those four starts working in and out of trouble. Tonight was no different as Cosart was in trouble for most of the night.

Cosart worked around two singles off of the bat of Shane Victorino and David Ortiz by getting two groundouts and a flyout. He wasn't quite as lucky in the second. Cosart led off that inning with a walk to Jonny Gomes, and then Saltalamacchia hit the only extra base hit, a double, off of Cosart to put runners at second and third with one out. He then induced a run scoring ground out off the bat of Brock Holt, and escaped the inning on a flyout.

Cosart's struggles continued in the third as he allowed back-to-back singles that put runners on the corners with one out. Cosart induced a grounder from Mike Carp to first baseman Brett Wallace who stepped on the bag and through to second to get Ortiz in a run-down that allowed Dustin Pedroia to score from third.

That was all the scoring that Cosart would allow on the night, but he still labored over his final two plus innings. He allowed at least two base-runners in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Cosart opened the sixth frame with back-to-back walks before leaving the game tied in favor of Wesley Wright.

Overall it wasn't one of Cosart's best outings, but he battled against a very good club and kept his team in the game, which is all you can ask for. Astros fans can likely expect to see starts like this from Cosart in the future as he's not necessarily known as a control artist. Still, one thing that Cosart does extremely well is generate groundballs and weak contact. That will allow him to keep games close even when he struggles with his command. His final line on the night was 5IP, 7H, 2ER, 5BB, and 3SO.

Now back to the pitching performances tonight.

Wesley Wright has been on a little hot streak lately, and he came up huge for the Astros tonight. With the game tied 2-2 in the sixth, Wright entered the game with two inherited runners at first and second and no outs. Wright recorded a strikeout, walk, and then another strikeout to put the Astros one out away from keeping the game tied. Josh Zeid entered and recorded a big strikeout against Victorino to preserve the tie.

Zeid stayed on to pitch the seventh, and was cruising until a single set the table for a Jonny Gomes homer that brought the game to within one at 5-4. Zeid was lifted in favor of lefty Travis Blackley.

Blackley's outing was forgettable.

Chia-Jen Lo then entered the game with two on and two out and with a full count he was able to get Brandon Snyder to strikeout swinging to preserve the Astros one run lead. Lo stayed in to work the 8th, and retired the top of the Red Sox lineup in order for a perfect 8th.

Josh Fields got his second chance to save the game against his former team and unfortunately for Fields things did not go as good as his first save. David Ortiz led off the inning with a single, but I mean when does Ortiz not get a hit against the Astros. The next batter Mike Carp lined out to Robbie Grossman for the first out of the inning. Fields then worked a full count against Gomes who homered earlier before walking him to put two on and one out. Then the big blow came on a Stephen Drew three-run homer to put the Sox ahead 7-5.

That was all she wrote for the good guys. What looked to be an Astros win from the sixth inning on turned into a very disappointing loss with the blown save. The bullpen shined at times tonight with Wright, Lo, and even Zeid getting key outs tonight. Hopefully the young guys can continue to progress and Bo Porter can find a combination that will work to preserve the Astros leads as they have been all to scarce this season.

The Astros enjoy an off day tomorrow before opening up a series against the Rangers this weekend.

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