This time, Adrian Gonzalez singled in the first run of the game, and David Ortiz drew a bases loaded walk to bring in the second. And while Ortiz wouldn't reach base again, being pulled after just two more at bats for a defensive replacement, Gonzalez would pick up two more hits as part of a 10-run attack that pushed the Red Sox well past the Astros for their third straight victory.
Those first two runs came in the first inning of the game, with J.A. Happ allowing five straight baserunners to start the game.The Sox would only pick up one more run that inning, but they weren't done with Happ just yet. A pair of doubles led to a fourth run in the fifth, and then Yamaico Navarro made an impact in the seventh, picking up his first MLB home run in his first at bat of the year, pinch hitting for Andrew Miller.
Speaking of Andrew Miller, it was another solid performance for the Red Sox' reclamation project. Miller struggled with command at times tonight, throwing a good few wild pitches (though Salty got to a number of them) and falling behind early in the count. But he had some good off-speed stuff going, and picked up ground ball after ground ball. With three double plays turned behind him, Miller left the game after six innings with just two runs on the board.
The game was still close after seven at 5-3, but then came the Houston bullpen. After scoring six runs against them in the first game of the series, the Sox once again opened up a big inning on the Astros' relief corps. Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, and Josh Reddick each singled to lead off the eighth. Jarrod Saltalamacchia brought one run home with a sacrifice fly, bringing up Darnell McDonald with one out and two men on to get another shot at driving in some runs. Finally, after so many frustrating at bats, McDonald came through, taking a 2-0 fastball and drilling it over everything--stands included--in left for a three-run homer.
The Sox added another run in the tenth on back-to-back hits from Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis to make it double digits, and the Red Sox are headed into their final game of interleague play with a chance to make this, of all things, a winning road trip.