For the opener against Houston, Whitlock pitches for the Sox against Odorizzi. The first two batters of the game reach, but Whitlock doesn’t let either one advance. The Sox load the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Verdugo reaches on a fielder’s choice in center that scores Hernández and opens up the scoring at 1-0 Boston. A pop out limits the damage to that one run. That lead doesn’t last long, as McCormick hits a fifth-inning home run that just clears the Monster and ties it at 1-1. It’s his fourth of the year.
Cordero leads off the bottom of the inning with a double off the Monster and moves to third on a groundout before scoring on a passed ball as the Sox reclaim the lead at 2-1. On the inning-ending out, Houston pitcher Jake Odorizzi comes off the mound towards the play and collapses. He holds his leg while lying on the ground before sitting up and eventually getting placed on the stretcher. We haven’t seen a stretcher at Fenway since Garrett Richards’ ACL tear when he was with Anaheim in 2014. Brantley leads off the top of the sixth with a ground-rule double to right, and the rain comes down in earnest immediately after. A four-pitch walk puts two on and results in Whitlock’s departure. For now, they’ll play through the rain. A walk loads the bases, and Brantley scores on Gurriel’s sacrifice fly to tie it at 2-2. Now the rain has stopped. Diekman is pulled in favor of Schreiber, who keeps the game tied. Then there is a 1-hour and 38-minute rain delay, at which point many of the fans leave. Castro leads off the top of the seventh, after which Verdugo comes up lame. Castro moves to third on a sacrifice bunt and scores on Altuve’s single up the middle to give the Astros the lead at 3-2. Barnes is lifted. Story ties the game with a leadoff blast onto Lansdowne. His second of the year and first at his new home makes it 3-3. Hernández leads off the bottom of the eighth with a double to left. Martinez hits a one-out double to left-center to give the Sox the lead back at last at 4-3. Bogaerts gives the Sox some insurance with a home run into the Monster. It’s 6-3 on his third of the year. A walk to Story and a stolen base mark midnight. Story is stranded. Combined with the Baltimore loss, this 6-3 win pushes the Red Sox out of the basement of the AL East. I know that doesn't seem like a big deal, but one has to find something positive when the team is 14-21.