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Red Sox 5, Astros 4: Bullpen Loses Lead After Big Comeback

It looked for a minute like the Astros would bring home the series. Just for a minute, though...

Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

What Happened

Like many of the starts this season by Lance McCullers, pitch counts reared their ugly head.  In four of his nine starts this season (including today) McCullers did not last past the fifth inning.  It took him 101 pitches to get to that point.  As with all his games the promise of a big-time TOR pitcher is there, but the command is not.  I will be fair and say that the strike zone today was small, but pretty consistent as Red Sox starter and fellow rookie Eduardo Rodriguez also needed 101 pitches to make it through five innings.  McCullers allowed ten baserunners (seven hits and three walks), yet when he exited the game he had only given up one run.

So when the starters had both left the game the scoring started in earnest.  With the score tied at 1-1, Will Harris entered the game in relief.  He gave up two runs, both of which were unearned due to two errors.  The Sox lead would have been even more if not for Jake Marisnick making an incredible play for the third out.  Add that to his earlier RBI single and it was a successful return to the lineup for Jake.

Going into the next inning trailing 3-1 Jose Altuve collected a 1-out single and stole second base with two outs.  Carlos Correa then drove his second homer of the series over the Green Monster to tie the game.  On the very next pitch Evan Gattis hit one out to almost the same spot to take the lead 4-3.

Harris came back out in the bottom of the 7th and got a strikeout to start the inning.  Tony Sipp came in to face camera mugging and bat throwing David Ortiz.  After an 11-pitch at bat (with the requisite bat throwing, angry stares, eye rolling, and general WWE clowning) Ortiz drew a walk.  Hanley Ramirez then took a splitter that was about 6 inches off the ground and one handed it over the monster to retake the lead.  Tip of the cap to Ramirez for going down and getting that one.  It wasn't a bad pitch, just a good job of hitting.

That was the end of the scoring on the day, and the Sox walked away with the 5-4 win and the series win also.  They will meet again at the end of the month in Houston.  As for now, the Astros head to Cleveland for a 4-game series starting tomorrow night.  It will be a battle of 9-game winners as Dallas Keuchel will face off against Carlos Carrasco at 6 pm.

Fun Facts

The Astros now have 35 multi homer games.  They are 31-4 in those games after today.

The last time the Astros hit back-to-back homers was way back on last Saturday against the Yankees, when Correa and Altuve did the deed.

A.J. HInch was 2-for-2 on replay challenges today, getting a double play for his defense, and getting a steal for Correa on offense.

Tweet of the Day

Glad I'm not the only one who noticed the fits...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Well Ortiz is still whining and crying and throwing hissy fits so not quite to the post-steroid era just yet. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Keuchel&#39;s Beard (@KeuchelDBeard) <a href="">July 5, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Oh yeah...Altuve has a 13-game hitting streak going on.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Jose Altuve&#39;s 13-game hit streak is one game shy of his career best, a 14-game stretch from Aug. 23 to Sept. 7, 2014.</p>&mdash; Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) <a href="">July 6, 2015</a></blockquote>

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But that wasn't the best Altuvecentric news today...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Nothing but praise for our own <a href="">@JoseAltuve27</a>. Congrats on being voted to start the All Star Gm. Proud of you and how you represent our team.</p>&mdash; AJ Hinch (@ajhinch) <a href="">July 5, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Walks are bad.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The Astros walked 17 batters in the series against the Red Sox. That&#39;s what did them in.</p>&mdash; Brian McTaggart ⚾️ (@brianmctaggart) <a href="">July 5, 2015</a></blockquote>

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