Grand slam, 5 RBIs by Rasmus helps Astros over Red Sox 8-3
HOUSTON >> Clay Buchholz didn't regret what pitch he threw to Colby Rasmus with the bases loaded in the fifth inning on Saturday.
He just wished he had located it better.
Rasmus hit a tie-breaking grand slam in the fifth inning to lead the Houston Astros to an 8-3 win over the Boston Red Sox that snapped a four-game skid.
The game was tied 1-1 and Buchholz (0-2) had retired eight straight before walking Luis Valbuena with no outs in the fifth. George Springer singled with two outs before Buchholz plunked Carlos Correa to load the bases.
Rasmus then launched a 93 mph fastball with two strikes to the seats in right-center field for his fifth career grand slam and Houston's second this season.
"It's a really good pitch whenever you're able to throw it where you want to, but the ball was moving a lot today," Buchholz said. "For the most part, felt like I did a pretty good job with executing the pitches I was throwing at times. Me and Colby faced each other a lot, he got me today."
Rasmus drove in a fifth run with a double in Houston's three-run eighth for his most RBIs since he had six on June 2, 2011.
Buchholz yielded six hits and five runs while striking out six in 5 2/3 innings to remain winless in four starts this season. It's his first career loss to the Astros in five starts, which included two complete games. He entered with a 1.38 ERA with 39 strikeouts against Houston.
Boston manager John Farrell praised his work despite the loss.
"I thought today he had excellent feel for his secondary pitches," Farrell said. "He kept a very good fastball-hitting team off-stride for the most part, (except for) the grand slam. Granted, you're going to look at the line score and it's going to say five runs, but I thought the way he threw the ball today coming off the start against Toronto he was making very good progress."
Mike Fiers (2-1) allowed five hits and two runs with six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings for his second win in a row.
Mookie Betts hit a leadoff single and advanced to second on an error by Fiers on a pickoff attempt. Dustin Pedroia walked before the RBI single by David Ortiz made it 1-0.
Houston evened it up in the second inning when Marwin Gonzalez scored on a groundout by Jason Castro.
Fiers settled down after the single by Ortiz, retiring 15 of the next 16 batters before a double by Pedroia to start the sixth inning.
A single by Travis Shaw with one out in the inning loaded the bases and chased Fiers.
"The last three or four games we've come out and we've been able to put up a crooked number on the board early," Farrell said. "We're creating a number of opportunities in games to get a little bit of a cushion. We were unable to cash in fully in that first inning today but still we're having a lot of good at-bats."
He was replaced by Will Harris, and Brock Holt hit a sacrifice fly that scored Pedroia to cut the lead to 5-2. But Harris retired Chris Young to limit the damage.
The Red Sox added a run on a double by Josh Rutledge with two outs in the eighth.
Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts was out of the lineup Saturday after being hit on the right wrist by a pitch from Luke Gregerson in the ninth inning on Friday night. The Red Sox don't think the injury is serious, and he could return on Sunday.
Dallas Keuchel was presented with his second straight Gold Glove award and Jose Altuve collected his Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards before Saturday's game. Keuchel also picked up trophies for being named Houston's MVP and pitcher of the year from the local Baseball Writers' Association of America chapter. Also honored by that chapter was Carlos Correa, who was the rookie of the year.
CURRY AND CORREA
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry raved about Correa a day after spending time with him before attending Friday night's game.
"He's a young talent that is going to be around for a long time," Curry said. "He is a really humble guy who has a great attitude (and) is passionate about what he does. He enjoys the opportunity he has playing in the majors, so I got to see behind the scenes of how he gets ready for games."
Last year's MVP is in town for a first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets. Game 4 is Sunday.
Red Sox: Left-hander Henry Owens will make his 2016 major league debut in the series finale on Sunday. Owens went 1-1 with a 1.00 ERA in three starts for Triple-A Pawtucket this season before being called up.
Astros: Scott Feldman (0-2, 4.11) will look for his first win when he starts on Sunday. Feldman allowed four runs — three earned — in five innings of a 7-5 loss to Texas on Tuesday.
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