That was a tough one for the Boston Red Sox last night, as they carried a 1-0 lead from near the 6th inning of the game to the 8th. That was until George Spring went deep and scored 2 runs to make it a 2-1 game. The Astros added another run off a Josh Reddick RBI and that was goodnight for the Red Sox.
Roberto Osuna, who has been flawless in his closing role, allowed a double to Christian Vasquez but got Eduardo Nunez to groundout and Mookie Betts failed to connect as he represented the winning run at the plate. With the loss, the Red Sox fell to 23-21 on the season and the Astros won their 9th straight game.
The Red Sox have been playing better baseball than they were earlier in the season, though. Despite the loss, they’ve won 9 of their last 12 games. The offense caught fire against the Mariners, as they put up 24 runs in three games.
Obviously, the offense was lost against Gerrit Cole last night. It was the second game in the last seven games that the Red Sox scored 2 runs or less. The Astros have been the hottest team in baseball recently, as they look to make it ten straight wins on Saturday.
With that said, the Red Sox have been looking up lately after suffering a long hangover for the first month of the season. I think it was only a matter of time before they woke up offensively, but pitching woes may follow them for longer.
The bullpen has some question marks and they haven’t had consistent pitching from their rotation. Now with David Price on the IL, there is added stress on the healthy members. Nathan Eovaldi has been injured as well, so they’re working with a four-man unit at the moment. It will be Hector Velasquez’s turn in the rotation on Saturday. Rookie Corbin Maritn will counter for the Astros. Head below for our free Astros vs. Red Sox pick.
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Corbin Martin looks like he has the potential to be a pretty good one for the Astros. He excelled in Triple-A ball with an ERA of 1.48 and 1.03 WHIP in 24.1 innings of work. Martin got the call up to face the Rangers and he had a pretty nice debut, as he went 5.1 innings, allowing just 3 hits and 2 runs. He was ultimately tagged for a 3.38 ERA at home against the Rangers.
Saturday poses a different challenge. It’s only his second start of his career and it will come at Fenway Park. For a young pitcher, it is exciting to get to play at Fenway in Boston. However, it can also be a little intimidating for a guy with little experience.
The Red Sox bats were quiet yesterday, so are they going to be able to take their frustration out on the rookie? The last time the Red Sox scored 1 run, they followed it up with 8 the next game. After a 2-run game on May 8th, they smacked the mariners for 14 runs.
Going back further, they scored 9 runs after getting held down for 2 runs the previous day. So, the Red Sox have known how to respond after hitting a wall. Martin is talented, but I think he’s in for a tricky game on Saturday at Fenway. It isn’t easy to hold the Red Sox offense in check for consecutive days.
Hector Velasquez has taken on dual roles for the Red Sox, as he’s bounced between the bullpen and starting rotation. He has made six starts, while coming out of the bullpen for six appearances. His most recent showings have been in a starting role, as he allowed 2 runs each against the Orioles and Mariners.
His latest outing was impressive, as he held the Mariners to just 2 hits 2 runs in 5.1 innings of work. Note that he hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in any appearance this season, with five of his six starts falling under 3 runs allowed. The ‘Stros are hitting .143 with just 2 hits against him in 14 at-bats.
He hasn’t surrendered an RBI to Houston yet. That will likely occur Saturday, but I the offense should be able to get it going for the Red Sox after falling silent Friday. Corbin Martin has a future as a major league pitcher, but expect him to take a loss in Boston in his first ever road start.