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Big 7th Inning Lifts Red Sox Past Astros; Ortiz to Start at 1B Saturday

Marco Scutaro (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Through the first six innings, the Red Sox looked dead in the water Friday night against the Astros. Marco Scutaro led off the game with a home run, but after that, the Sox managed just four walks and no hits or runs until the seventh off Astros starter Bud Norris, who had 10 strikeouts through the six frames. Then the seventh inning happened.

Cruising along with a 5-1 lead, Norris allowed three straight hits to begin the 7th, capped off by an RBI double by the red-hot Josh Reddick. He was then pulled for Sergio Escalona, who gave up an RBI single to Drew Sutton and drilled pinch-hitter Darnell McDonald before exiting the game.

The Sox then piled on two more runs on a bases-loaded single for Dustin Pedroia to tie the game, and a back-breaking two-run double for the “slumping” Adrian Gonzalez, who gave the Red Sox a two-run lead and eventual 7-5 win.

Tim Wakefield got his first start in Houston since 1993, and didn’t pitch particularly well. He allowed five runs on a season-high 11 hits in just 5.1 innings.

While Wake did an OK job of not letting the game get out of hand, the bullpen should be applauded for quieting the Astros bats. Sox relievers (Dan Wheeler, Matt Albers, Franklin Morales, Daniel Bard, Jonathan Papelbon)  allowed just two hits and finished with four strikeouts.

Sox Stud of the Game: Josh Reddick

Reddick is on an absolute tear, and continued his streak with a 2-4 effort Friday night with a walk and RBI. He’s now batting .450 this season.

Sox Dud of the Game: Tim Wakefield

Again, he did well to not let it get out of hand, but allowing 11 hits in under six innings is pretty bad. He also didn’t strike anyone out – basically, he wasn’t fooling anyone. At the plate, Wakefield finished 0-2 with two strikeouts.

Game Notes:

W: Dan Wheeler (1-1)
L: Sergio Escalona (1-1)

  • 6 of the 8 Astros position players finished with at least two hits. Brett Wallace went 0-3 and Carlos Corporan went 0-4.
  • David Ortiz will start on Saturday against Astros lefty J.A. Happ, who allows a .328 average to lefty hitters. Adrian Gonzalez will get the start in right field.
  • The NY Times has sold part of its stake in the Red Sox for $117 million.
  • Ortiz will captain the American League in the Home Run Derby in a couple weeks.

About KC Downey - @kc_downey

KC is the "head coach" of the Sports of Boston, LLC blog network. Follow him on Twitter: @kc_downey

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