|4:15 PM PT5:15 PM MT6:15 PM CT7:15 PM ET19:15 ET23:15 GMT7:15 4:15 PM MST6:15 PM EST6:45 PM VEN3:15 UAE (+1)6:15 PM CT, May 18, 2019
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts Attendance: 36,887
Astros rookie Martin draws Red Sox for 2nd start
Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox
- The Astros posted a 4.45 team ERA against the Red Sox in the 2018 regular season and a 5.52 team ERA against Boston in the ALCS. The Astros did not have an ERA over 4.00 against any other team in 2018.
- The Astros enter this series on an eight-game winning streak. The only longer winning streak in MLB this season was also accomplished by the Astros (10 from April 5-16).
- Boston has gone 10-3 in May, the second best record in MLB behind only Houston (11-3). The Red Sox .385 team OBP leads MLB in May, while the Astros lead MLB with a .307 batting average this month.
- In the American League, seven players have scored at least 12 runs in May -- six of those seven are in this series: Springer (18), Devers (14), Betts (13), Bogaerts (12), Bregman (12) and Martinez (12).
- Carlos Correa went 2-for-5 last time out and has had multi-hit games in three of his last four. The Astros are 11-1 in his multi-hit games this season; the only player with a better team record in his multi-hit games (minimum 10 multi-hit games) is Nelson Cruz and the Twins (10-0).
- Mookie Betts hit his 200th career double last time out in his 686th career game. The last players to reach 200 doubles in fewer games were Albert Pujols in 2005 (659), Nomar Garciaparra in 2002 (665) and Hank Greenberg in 1938 (604).
- Stanton likely for Yankees' London trip
- Keuchel draws Cubs in 2nd Braves start
- Odorizzi faces Rays seeking 11th win
- White Sox SS Anderson has ankle sprain
- Machado homers in return to Baltimore
Reminiscent of the 2018 American League Championship Series, the Astros and Boston Red Sox on Friday at Fenway Park played the same tense baseball that highlighted their memorable showdown, with Houston turning the tables via a late-inning rally to win.
In taking the opener of a three-game weekend series 3-1, the Astros did what Boston accomplished while claiming the final four games of their matchup last October.
The series continues Saturday evening in Boston.
George Springer delivered a go-ahead, two-run home run in the eighth inning Friday off Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello. That pitch left Boston manager Alex Cora lamenting his decision to send Porcello back to the mound with 91 pitches on his ledger, although Porcello had retired seven consecutive batters and had yet to allow an extra-base hit through seven sparkling innings.
For the Astros, watching the Red Sox grind out at-bats against starter Gerrit Cole felt eerily familiar.
Cole worked five scoreless innings but needed 99 pitches to do so, with Boston recording more foul balls (23) than swinging strikes (16) against Cole, despite Cole averaging 97.5 mph on 54 four-seam fastballs.
When the Astros take the field on Saturday, they'll know exactly what the Red Sox have in store for them.
"For whatever reason, this is a tough place to pitch," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "Part of it is the environment, part of it is their offense. They're dangerous and they make you work. They foul balls off, they do a good job of putting together a game plan very similar to us."
Rookie right-hander Corbin Martin (1-0, 3.38 ERA) will make his second career start for the Astros. Martin allowed two runs on three hits and one walk with nine strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings in his major league debut against the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
Martin is a Houston native who graduated from nearby Cypress Ranch High School before pitching at Texas A&M. He was a second-round selection (56th overall) by the Astros in the 2017 draft.
Right-hander Hector Velazquez (1-2, 3.95 ERA) will start for the Red Sox on Saturday.
Velazquez logged a season-high five innings in his previous outing, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks with three strikeouts in an 11-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday in what was his 12th appearance and sixth start on the season.
With the Red Sox's rotation shortened by injuries, Velazquez has earned three starts this month while making just one relief appearance.
The Red Sox received a measure of good news Friday via updates on left-hander David Price and right-hander Nathan Eovaldi.
Price, sidelined since May 2 due to elbow tendinitis, could return next week against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Eovaldi, who had surgery on April 23 to remove loose bodies in his elbow, played catch Friday. He could throw a limited bullpen session Tuesday, inching him closer toward a return.
"On a good note, we haven't had any issues," said Eovaldi, who had no decisions and a 6.00 ERA in four starts before getting hurt last month. "We've been able to continue to take steps forward in the right direction.
"The arm still feels good and strong, and coming out to play catch, it's just make sure you're not doing too much."
--Field Level Media
Updated May 18, 2019