In one inning Thursday night, the Red Sox scored as many runs as they'd produced in any of their last 20 games, ultimately putting up nine on the Houston Astros as they cruised to their fifth victory in six games.
It was a shaky start for Allen Webster and the Red Sox. After trading 1-2-3 firsts with Scott Feldman, Webster lost control of the strike zone to start the second inning, as he is often wont to do, walking Dexter Fowler and Jason Castro on eight straight balls. Still, it was ultimately a defensive gaffe by Mike Napoli that allowed the walks to hurt Webster, with the first baseman allowing an admittedly sharply hit ball to kick off his glove and into the outfield, giving Fowler the opportunity to score from second.
Webster would get right back into trouble in the third. Despite starting off both Marwin Gonzalez and Robbie Grossman with two strikes a piece, both managed to get hits off of him anyways, with a double and single bringing home a second run for the Astros. Webster would reach his lowest point on the night in the fourth, when Matt Dominguez unloaded on an inside fastball, bouncing it off the hardware over the Monster for a two-run shot that left the Sox behind by four.
Boston would get on the board in the least impressive way possible, with the Astros trading a run for a twin killing of David Ortiz and Yoenis Cespedes in the bottom of the fourth. The Sox almost managed to restart their rally after the double play, but Mike Napoli was caught at the plate while trying to score from first on Daniel Nava's double off the wall.
As weak as their one-run fourth was, however, the Red Sox were building up to something far greater. They wasted no time in the sixth, with a double from Brock Holt and single from Dustin Pedroia setting up David Ortiz for a low line drive past the second baseman, giving the Red Sox a run before the first out of the inning was in the books. Yoenis Cespedes would provide that out with a ground ball, but the second was a long time in coming. A ground ball single from Mike Napoli made it a one-run game, and Daniel Nava worked a walk to load the bases for Will Middlebrooks, who singled past a diving Marwin Gonzalez to tie the game up.
The Sox had evened the score, but they still had two outs to work with in the sixth and, as it happened, quite a few more runs coming their way. Darin Downs replaced Scott Feldman on the mound, but couldn't find the zone with any consistency, walking Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brock Holt around a sacrifice fly from Christian Vazquez, bringing home two more runs and reloading the bases. That brought Michael Foltynewicz into the game only to see an eight-pitch battle with Dustin Pedroia end up with a line drive cued down the right field line and up into the seats for a two-run double, capping off the inning at seven runs scored, leaving the Red Sox ahead 8-4.
Having completely flipped their four-run deficit into a four-run lead, the Red Sox tacked on a ninth run in the eighth, with Brock Holt singling home Jackie Bradley Jr. after a leadoff single. The insurance proved unnecessary, however, with Alex Wilson surviving a pair of leadoff hits as Daniel Nava nailed Jake Marasnick trying to score from third on a would-be sacrifice fly. Wilson handed the ball off to Junichi Tazawa and Craig Breslow, who finished the Astros off with limited drama in the eighth and ninth respectively.