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Red Sox aim for series win over Astros behind Dempster

(Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox have won each of Ryan Dempster's last four starts and hope that streak continues Wednesday in the finale of a three- game series against the Houston Astros.

Dempster is 2-0 with a 5.26 earned run average in his last seven starts and the Red Sox are 6-1 in that time. He luckily avoided the loss column and settled for a no-decision in last Thursday's 8-7 win over Seattle, as he yielded seven runs and nine hits in six innings.

The right-hander, who is 6-8 in 22 starts with a 4.54 ERA, defeated the Astros back on April 26 with six innings of two-run ball in a 7-3 victory at Fenway Park. In 52 career games (26 starts) against Houston, Dempster is 7-12 with 16 saves and a 4.28 ERA over 191 1/3 innings.

Boston won Tuesday's slugfest, 15-10, and rebounded from a loss in the series opener. Jacoby Ellsbury homered twice and finished with three RBI, while Jonny Gomes went deep and drove in four runs. David Ortiz finished 4-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored for the Red Sox, who have won eight of 11 games.

"A lot of good things are going on around here," said Ortiz. "We've got guys coming in here hungry everyday and try to make things happen."

Steven Wright allowed three runs in just an inning of work and Brandon Workman earned the win despite giving up six runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Houston allowed five runs in both the fifth and sixth innings and blew a 7-3 lead. Jordan Lyles was roughed up for eight runs nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.

"Offense came up tonight, put up some big numbers and I just let it go," said Lyles. "I made the bullpen throw a lot of innings. It was just a tough game to watch for a lot of people."

Robbie Grossman, Brett Wallace and Jake Elmore all homered for the Astros, losers in five of six games.

Jarred Cosart is off to an amazing start for the Astros and the rookie gets the nod Wednesday versus Boston. Cosart is 1-0 with a sparkling 0.96 earned run average in his first four starts and hasn't recorded a decision since winning his MLB debut July 12 at Tampa Bay.

In his most recent appearance last Friday at Minnesota, Cosart threw seven innings of one-run ball, struck out four and walked one in a 4-3 Houston loss. The right-hander has lasted at least six innings in each start and is also just the second pitcher since earned runs became an official statistic to last six-plus innings and allow zero or one earned run in each of his first four major league outings.

Boston won all four meetings with Houston last season and had won seven in a row in this series until Monday's loss. The Red Sox 12-3 all-time against the 'Stros.

08/07 10:40:08 ET