The Astros Battled Back Last Night to Win
The Houston Astros got down early to the Red Sox in the second inning of game two, but roared back in the fifth to tie the game 5-5. Then in the sixth, George Springer delivered a two-run “Springer Dinger” over the green monster. That was enough offense for the Houston bullpen to seal the game with closer Luke Gregerson recording his eighth save of the season.
It was possibly the best comeback victory of the year for the Astros, and it came on the road making it even sweeter. Lance McCullers made his 2016 debut, and pitched 4.2 innings, giving up five earned runs, all of which scored in the second inning. The win knots the series at 1-1, and Boston still leads the season series 3-2.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
- Alex Bregman goes off in August, leads Astros
McHugh seems to be turning around his 2016 season. He has won his last three starts, and pitched a gem of a ballgame his last time out against Seattle, going seven innings and giving up only one run. He also induced a season-high 12 ground balls, and for the first time, this year has got his ERA below 6.00. He will look to do better against the hot-hitting Red Sox who lit McHugh up in their earlier meeting this year. Boston roughed up McHugh for five runs on ten hits in just four innings in a 6-2 defeat of the Astros.
Mookie Betts went 3/3 against McHugh with a triple, double, and a single, and Xander Bogaerts went 2/3 against him as well. Look for McHugh to give Boston hitters a bit of a different look this game, and incorporate his changeup more this game. In his last performance, McHugh threw his change-up more than 20% of the time, which trended opposite from all his previous starts this year, and it was effective.
The Red Sox lost every game that Buchholz started in April, and in May, they have won both his starts. He has not necessarily been effective thus far this year but has pitched well enough to record victories in his two recent games. The Astros lone win against Boston in April came at Buchholz’s expense, as they tagged him for five runs in 5.2 innings including a grand slam by Colby Rasmus.
Buchholz has still fared well against the majority of Astros hitters, with Rasmus hitting .148 and Jose Altuve at .158 against him. Current Astros are a combined .196 against Buchholz. Look for Buchholz to give Houston a tougher time at Fenway Park.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***