|Boston (17-7) «||0||4||0||1||0||0||3||0||x||8||12||1|
BOSTON -- David Ortiz has even run out of ways to talk about his red-hot return.
Ortiz had two hits and three RBI to extend his torrid start after a long layoff, and Felix Doubront overcame a wild first inning to pitch into the seventh as the Boston Red Sox beat the struggling Houston Astros 8-4 on Saturday night.
"I ain't talking about that anymore," said Ortiz, joking with the media as he dressed quickly in front of his locker. "You make up a new question, I'll answer it. Otherwise, copy what I said yesterday and the day before."
The 37-year old Ortiz made quite a return in his first seven games. He is hitting .519 (14 of 27) with two homers and nine RBI since getting back into the lineup last Saturday after missing the 71 of the final 72 games last season and all of spring training with a heel injury.
"He's doing things that look to him to be very easy, but its hard to imagine or even script out that he'd have this kind of performance considering the layoff," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
It was 14th win in 19 games for the surging Red Sox (17-7). Boston can tie a club record for the most wins in April by completing a four-game sweep over Houston (7-17) on Sunday.
The Astros, coming off 56 and 55 wins seasons the last two, respectively, in the National League, are finding their new league just as tough.
"I don't get caught up in the record," Astros first-year manager Bo Porter said. "I deal with each day, each game, one game at a time."
Boston matched its best start since 2002 with its fourth straight win.
The Red Sox went 18-8 in April 1998 and 2003.
Doubront (3-0) walked three in the first, hit a batter, and had a wild pitch before settling down to hold the Astros to three runs, four hits, striking out eight and walking four over 6 2/3 innings.
"Seriously, I don't know what happened in the first inning," Doubront said. "I was feeling like I was using more of my arm than my body. I was frustrated because I was thinking a little too much. But overall, after the first inning, I was really focused and I wasn't thinking about my mechanics at all. I was throwing the ball. I was so happy I did that."
Houston starter Brad Peacock (1-3) gave up five runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings. He hasn't gone past five innings in each of his five starts.
"I know we've got to start doing better," he said. "I'm just going to keep working and hopefully I can get out of this."
Trailing 2-0, Boston scored four runs in the second on Ellsbury's two-run single and Ortiz's two-run double into the left field corner.
Ortiz's sacrifice fly made it 5-2 in the fourth after Nava doubled leading off and advanced on Pedroia's ground out to second.
Jose Altuve's run-scoring ground out cut it to 5-3 in the seventh.
Stephen Drew, Nava and Pedroia each had RBI singles in the seventh.
The Astros took advantage of Doubront's wild first to grab their first lead of the series. Doubront hit Brandon Barnes after a leadoff single before walking Brandon Laird. He then walked Chris Carter, forcing in a run, before Ronny Cedeno's sacrifice fly made it 2-0. The left-hander walked the next batter on four pitches, but got the final two outs easily.
|David Ortiz gets two hits and three RBI as the surging Red Sox win for the 14th time in 19 games. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Jose Altuve, 2B||5||1||1||1||0||1||1||.340|
|Brandon Barnes, RF||2||1||1||0||1||1||0||.375|
|a- Rick Ankiel, PH-RF||1||0||0||0||0||1||3||.200|
|Brandon Laird, 1B||2||0||0||0||1||1||1||.217|
|b- Fernando Martinez, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||.263|
|Chris Carter, LF-1B||4||0||0||1||1||4||2||.216|
|Ronny Cedeno, DH||2||0||0||1||0||1||0||.313|
|c- Carlos Pena, PH-DH||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||.188|
|Carlos Corporan, C||2||0||0||0||2||1||0||.250|
|Matt Dominguez, 3B||4||0||1||1||0||0||3||.263|
|Marwin Gonzalez, SS||4||1||2||0||0||1||5||.321|
|Robbie Grossman, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.118|
|a-struck out for Barnes in the 8th|
|b-walked for Laird in the 7th|
|c-walked for Cedeno in the 8th|
|2B - Marwin Gonzalez (4, Doubront)|
|SF - Ronny Cedeno (1)|
|RBI - Jose Altuve (12), Chris Carter (12), Ronny Cedeno (7), Matt Dominguez (8)|
|SB - Marwin Gonzalez (3, 3rd base off Doubront/Saltalamacchia)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|DP - M. Gonzalez-Altuve|
|E - Robbie Grossman (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|Brad Peacock (L,1-3)||3.1||6||5||5||5||3||0||8.44|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brad Peacock 90-51, Travis Blackley 32-20, Wesley Wright 22-9, Hector Ambriz 26-16, Jose Veras 13-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Peacock 4-3, Travis Blackley 2-1, Jose Veras 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Brad Peacock 21, Travis Blackley 7, Wesley Wright 4, Hector Ambriz 8, Jose Veras 3|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, CF||5||1||1||2||0||1||4||.283|
|Daniel Nava, RF||5||1||2||1||0||1||0||.299|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||3||0||2||1||2||0||1||.330|
|David Ortiz, DH||3||0||2||3||1||0||2||.519|
|Mike Napoli, 1B||4||0||1||0||1||1||4||.281|
|Mike Carp, LF||3||0||0||0||0||2||4||.421|
|a- Jonny Gomes, PH-LF||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.179|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C||4||2||1||0||1||2||0||.238|
|Will Middlebrooks, 3B||3||2||2||0||1||0||0||.200|
|Stephen Drew, SS||2||2||1||1||2||0||0||.136|
|a-flied out for Carp in the 7th|
|2B - Daniel Nava (3, Peacock), David Ortiz (4, Peacock), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (5, Ambriz), Will Middlebrooks (4, Peacock)|
|SF - David Ortiz (1)|
|RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury 2 (11), Daniel Nava (16), Dustin Pedroia (10), David Ortiz 3 (9), Stephen Drew (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Daniel Nava (5), Dustin Pedroia (4), David Ortiz 2 (3)|
|SB - Dustin Pedroia (6, 2nd base off Wright/Corporan)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|PB - Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2)|
|E - Stephen Drew (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Felix Doubront (W,3-0)||6.2||4||3||3||4||8||0||4.24|
|Junichi Tazawa (H,8)||0.1||0||0||0||1||1||0||1.54|
|HBP - Barnes (by Felix Doubront)|
|WP - Felix Doubront (4)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Felix Doubront 103-62, Junichi Tazawa 11-5, Daniel Bard 9-1, Alex Wilson 15-10, Andrew Miller 14-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felix Doubront 9-3, Alex Wilson 1-2, Andrew Miller 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Felix Doubront 29, Junichi Tazawa 2, Daniel Bard 2, Alex Wilson 5, Andrew Miller 3|
|Attendance - 34726|
|Game Time - 3:40|
|Temperature - 59|
|Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Jordan Baker, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Jerry Meals|