BOSTON (AP) — Houston starter Scott Feldman knew he was in trouble working with one effective pitch. It just felt like a matter of time.
Dustin Pedroia’s two-run double capped a seven-run sixth inning Thursday night that sent the Boston Red Sox to their fourth straight win, 9-4 over the Houston Astros.
Feldman, who was charged with seven runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings, felt like he was hanging on the last two innings he was out there.
“Even if you have command of three or four pitches, they’re going to make you battle,” he said. “I felt like tonight I just kind of fell into a rut there where I was only throwing my cutter for a strike. I had no command of anything else.”
The right-hander’s luck ran out when Boston scored its season-high seven in the sixth.
“It just snowballed. He was one pitch away from getting out of it, but they just continued to find holes and continued to keep the line moving,” Houston manager Bo Porter said. “Before that he was in complete command of the game and really was commanding both sides of the plate.”
Pedroia finished with three hits, Daniel Nava had two doubles and David Ortiz added two singles as the Red Sox improved to 8-0 at Fenway Park against the Astros.
Matt Dominguez hit a two-run homer for Houston, which opened a 10-game road trip with its fourth loss in five games.
Trailing 4-1, the Red Sox chased Feldman (6-9) during their biggest inning of the season.
Pedroia’s ground-rule double bounced off the chalk on the right-field line and caromed into the stands. Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Will Middlebrooks each had an RBI single before Jackie Bradley Jr. drew a bases-loaded walk from reliever Darin Downs that pushed Boston ahead 5-4.
Christian Vazquez had a sacrifice fly before Pedroia’s double. Brock Holt opened the inning with a hustle double and drew a walk as the Red Sox sent 12 batters to the plate.
Allen Webster (3-1) gave up four runs – three earned – and five hits in six innings for Boston.
The Astros scored single runs in the second and third before Dominguez’s homer made it 4-0 in the fourth.
Boston sliced it to 4-1 when Pedroia scored on Yoenis Cespedes’ double-play grounder.
CF Dexter Fowler made diving grabs of liners by Cespedes and Middlebrooks in just his second game off the DL. He was out 40 games with a strained right chest muscle.
Astros: OF Alex Presley won’t play in games and will only get treatment for a couple of days (strained right oblique) because he had some discomfort during his minor league rehabilitation assignment at Tri-City of the New York Penn League.
Red Sox: Cespedes was back in the lineup after coming out of Wednesday’s game with a bruised right hand. Manager John Farrell said outfielder Allen Craig, on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left foot, will take batting practice the next few days before being sent on a rehab assignment.
LHP Dallas Keuchel (10-8, 3.07 ERA) pitches Friday for the Astros after losing his last start, giving up five runs in six innings at home against Texas. It was his worst start in more than a month.
Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz (5-7, 5.98) looks for his second strong start against Houston this season. He struck out 12 in a complete-game victory at Minute Maid Park on July 13.
Porter joked that he’ll be shutting down injury updates on rookie outfielder George Springer (right quadriceps), who had a setback in his rehab and was shut down for two weeks. Springer has been out since July 19. “In 13 days we can talk about him again,” Porter said, smiling.