The Astros are attempting to avoid the four game sweep in Boston. Bud Norris takes the mound after Bo Porter's comments on Saturday night saying the Astros starting pitchers need to make some adjustments or changes will be named. In four of five Norris' starts he's managed to get past the fifth four times and only once has he managed to get past the sixth inning.
The Astros get on the board first with a Ronny Cedeno single to center to score Jason Castro who was on second.
The Red Sox strike back in the bottom half of the inning with a run of their own on a David Ortiz single to center that scored Daniel Nava. Seven Red Sox batters stepped to the plate against Norris, not a good start to this one.
Norris was much more efficient in the second inning. He allowed a single to Will Middlebrooks, struckout Stephen Drew and then got Jacob Ellsbury to ground into a potential double play that Ellsbury was able to be out for only a forceout. Jason Castro ended the inning by throwing out Ellsbury who attempted to steal second base.
Norris 56 pitches, 35 strikes, through the first three innings.
Norris ran into a little trouble in the fourth inning allowing three straight hits. Luckily, Mike Napoli tried to extend a single into a double and was thrown out by Rick Ankiel. Norris then struckout Middlebrooks swinging. Then allowed a two-run triple to Stephen Drew. He got the next batter, Ellsbury, to ground out to first to end the inning.
Norris 74 pitches, 49 strikes.
Astros GIF Recap: Ronny Cedeno, Jason Castro and Rick Ankiel Do Good Things - The Crawfish Boxes
Recapping some of the good things the Astros are doing against the Red Sox in the first four innings.
Marwin Gonzalez boots an easy grounder from Daniel Nava and then rushes the throw and airmails it into the seats. Gonzalez was charged with two errors on the play. What's even worse is that Dustin Pedroia drives in Nava with a double to left field. After getting Ortiz to fly out and Napoli strikes out, Mike Carp bangs a double off the Green Monster to score Pedroia.
Norris 90 pitches, 63 strikes.
Really? Astros load the bases with one out in the inning and fail to cash in after Fernando Martinez strikes out and Matt Dominguez grounds out.
On the up side Norris started the sixth inning and finished it.
Norris 108 pitches, 74 strikes. His day is done final line:
6IP, 9H, 5R, 3ER, 2BB, 6SO Game Score: 42
Jose Cisnero replaces Norris and gives up a one out double to Ortiz who drives in Nava. Nava singled to begin the inning but moved to second on a balk. Cisnero then struck out Napoli and Carp to end the inning.
Cisnero would pitch a perfect eighth and that would be it for the pitchers.
Offense made some noise but sputtered.
Yay! An Astros starter went more than five innings and in fact went six. This is only the second time this season Norris has gotten through the sixth inning and he needed 108 pitches to do so. The offense had it's chances in this one but continued to struggle with men in scoring position.
Bad series for the Astros and it doesn't get any easier from here. The Astros next three opponents will be the Yankees, Tigers and Angels. This might be a good time to knock out the Game of Thrones Blu-rays I just acquired.