While most of you were busy watching preseason football tonight, I was enjoying a 4-hour Astros game that ended in a typical NFL score of 10-7. The Astros provided plenty of run support for Brad Peacock, but the struggling starter was unable to make it stand up. Houston scored six times in the first four innings. But Peacock couldn’t make it through a fifth inning that saw the Red Sox pull ahead with four runs of their own.
An infield popup that was dropped by Jon Singleton was the beginning of the end for Peacock and the Astros. Josh Fields came on in relief of Peacock and actually pitched worse than the starter. Fields walked two and gave up the go-ahead run before getting the last two outs of the inning. It was the third straight outing in which Josh has given up at least one run. It also ended up being his sixth loss of the year.
Kevin Chapman did a nice job of holding the Sox at bay in the sixth and seventh innings but was inexplicably sent out to pitch the eighth. Bo Porter missed out on a golden opportunity to give the young lefty a confidence boost — and maybe even put the team in position for a win.
After allowing a single, a sacrifice, and a walk to start the inning, surely Chapman would be pulled with Dustin Pedroia stepping up to the plate. Guess again! Kevin was left in to give up a laser of a single to the Red Sox second-baseman despite having already thrown 30 pitches. And, if that wasn’t crazy enough, Bo Porter let him stay in with the bases loaded to serve up a 2-run double to the red-hot David Ortiz.
So, after entering the inning trailing by a single run, suddenly the Astros were down by three with two runners in scoring position and the infield drawn in. Way to go Bo!
Jake Buchanan entered the fray and was immediately victimized by an RBI single that would have been caught by shortstop Marwin Gonzalez had he been playing at normal depth. A great play by third-baseman Gregorio Petit got Buchanan out of the inning, avoiding any further damage. But it was already too late.
The Astros tried to stage a 2-out rally in the ninth against Red Sox closer Koji Uehara. Jason Castro launched a homer to the bullpen in rightfield and Singleton followed with a base hit. Jake Marisnick was then hit by a pitch, bringing the tying run to the plate. But Uehara got Marwin Gonzalez to ground out to end the game.
On the bright side, Chris Carter had two hits including his 29th homer of the year. Dexter Fowler, Jose Altuve, Castro, and Gonzalez also chipped in with two hits apiece. Once again, the effort was there. Unfortunately, Bo Porter out-managed himself into another loss.