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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, July 11 (All times Eastern)
Boston Red Sox (41-51) at Houston Astros (39-54), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - John Lackey (9-6, 3.84) Houston - Scott Feldman (4-5, 3.86)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Red Sox will spend their weekend before the All-Star break in Houston and commence a three-game series with the Astros Friday night from Minute Maid Park.
The Red Sox won two of three versus the Chicago White Sox to close out a 10- game homestand (3-7) and recorded their second straight late-inning win with Thursday's 4-3 victory in 10 innings.
Mike Carp came on as a pinch-hitter in the 10th and singled home Daniel Nava for the game-winning run. Nava walked to start the inning and moved to second on Mookie Betts' bunt. After Stephen Drew was intentionally walked, Carp helped Boston win its second in a row since losing four straight.
"The few hits that we did get and the walks when we got them, it was the timely hitting that was key," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
David Ortiz drove in two runs during a three-run sixth inning for the Red Sox, who took Wednesday's game, 5-4, on Brock Holt's RBI single with one down in the bottom of the ninth.
Jon Lester was terrific through seven innings on Thursday. Lester struck out 12 and allowed one run and seven hits with no walks for the no-decision.
Koji Uehara came on to close the game out in the ninth inning and surrendered a two-run homer to Conor Gillaspie. Andrew Miller pitched the 10th inning to close out the stay on a high note.
Boston was swept by the Chicago Cubs in three games to open the homestand and then went 1-2 against the Baltimore Orioles.
The Red Sox have won two straight and three of four road games, and are 18-25 on the road. They will hand the ball to John Lackey in Friday's series opener with the Astros and he is aiming for his 10th win (9-6). Lackey has dropped two of three starts and took the loss in Saturday's 7-4 defeat to Baltimore, charged with five runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Lackey has allowed 16 runs in his last three appearances and will make his fourth career start against the Astros. He is 1-1 with a 4.86 earned run average in the first three outings and has allowed three runs in his previous 12 innings against Houston.
Houston is back home before the All-Star break and pulled off a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers with Wednesday's 8-4 triumph.
Robbie Grossman and George Springer both homered with Grossman finishing with four hits. Carlos Corporan ended 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored for the Astros, who lost four in a row to start the seven-game trek and dropped seven straight before the Texas sweep.
"The way we came into here after losing seven in a row, for our guys to respond the way they responded in this three-game series, I'm extremely proud of them," Astros manager Bo Porter said.
Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk over 6 2/3 frames to notch the win.
The Astros will try to end a three-game home losing streak with Scott Feldman on the mound and he is 4-5 with a 3.86 ERA. He is 1-3 in his past four decisions and did not factor in the outcome of Saturday's 11-5 loss against the L.A. Angels, who reached him for two runs in six innings.
Feldman has allowed two runs or more in five straight trips to the mound and is 1-2 with a 5.86 ERA in 11 career games (5 starts) against Boston.
Houston and Boston are meeting for the first time since the Red Sox won six of seven games last season. The Red Sox are 9-1 in the previous 10 matchups with the Astros, who lead the majors with 818 strikeouts.
07/11 10:55:14 ET
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