Astros look to maintain hold on Red Sox


The Houston Astros continue to have the Boston Red Sox’s number this season.

After taking three of four from Boston in Houston last week, the Astros arrived at Fenway Park on Tuesday and crushed the Red Sox 7-1 in the opener of a three-game set. The visitors will look to keep rolling as the series resumes Wednesday night.

Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (0-3, 7.16 ERA) will take the mound for Houston in his third start since returning from the injured list (right pronator strain). Boston counters with righty Nathan Eovaldi (7-2, 3.78), who has won each of his last three outings.

The Red Sox were riding a five-game winning streak before falling behind early in Tuesday’s setback. The Astros scored five runs in the second inning and led 7-0 in the fourth, giving starting pitcher Framber Valdez plenty of support to dominate Boston in back-to-back performances.

Valdez, who held the Red Sox to one run on five hits over seven innings on June 2, repeated the feat over 7 1/3 innings Tuesday.

“We felt the at-bats were better than last week,” Boston skipper Alex Cora said. “He was good, overall.”

Red Sox starter Martin Perez wasn’t as fortunate. Perez had held the Astros scoreless over 7 2/3 innings on June 3 but got tagged for six runs on six hits in just two innings this time around.

“I think it was more him than us, but we capitalized on his ineffectiveness today,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said.

Houston has won three of its last four games and seven of nine. Carlos Correa homered as part of a 3-for-5 showing in the series opener, and Yuli Gurriel added three hits for the third time in his last five games.

Odorizzi lasted just three innings against Boston when he pitched opposite Perez last time out. He gave up three runs on four hits and walked three, lamenting his poor control postgame.

“I was kind of erratic with the release point and got frustrated,” he said. “Just a bad command start. That’s how I would sum it up. It’s one thing if you have good stuff and it happens, but I wouldn’t say my stuff was good at any point.”

Odorizzi is 4-7 with a 4.84 ERA in 19 career starts against the Red Sox. Ten of those outings have come at Fenway, where he is 1-4 with a 6.26 ERA.

Eovaldi didn’t face Houston during last week’s series, instead holding the New York Yankees to two runs (one earned) on eight hits in six innings in his most recent performance. He punched out seven for the second straight outing.

Eovaldi is 1-1 with a 3.19 ERA in five career starts against his hometown Astros. This season, his 4.47 ERA at home is two full runs higher than his average on the road (2.42).

Eovaldi hasn’t lost since April 24 against the Seattle Mariners.

–Field Level Media

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