HOUSTON — David Ortiz delivered a bases-clearing double to cap a five-run sixth inning as the Boston Red Sox provided right-hander John Lackey ample run support to overcome his command woes and the Houston Astros 8-3 on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.
Ortiz struck his blow off Astros left-hander Darin Downs, driving home right fielder Brock Holt, catcher Christian Vazquez and shortstop Stephen Drew. Vazquez chased Astros right-hander Scott Feldman (4-6) with a two-run double after Feldman intentionally walked Drew to set up a force at every base with one out and the Astros (39-55) trailing 3-1.
Boston (42-51) recorded seven extra-base hits, including a pair of triples. Both Ortiz and Vazquez finished with three RBIs apiece.
Lackey (10-6) issued five walks over six innings and tossed 50 of his 117 pitches out of the strike zone. However, he skillfully worked around traffic and stranded seven baserunners during his outing, four in scoring position. He did allow a solo home run to Astros designated Chris Carter in the sixth, but departed with a comfortable 8-2 lead.
Carter added another homer off Red Sox left-hander Craig Breslow in the eighth inning, giving him his second multi-homer game this week. Carter pulled even with rookie outfielder George Springer for the club lead with his 19th home run.
Feldman proved elusive in the first few innings, working around a leadoff double from Holt in the first before inducing a double-play grounder off the bat of third baseman Xander Bogaerts in the second.
But in the third, the Red Sox finished a home run shy of hitting for the cycle, with Vazquez getting his first career hit — a single to left-center field — before Holt followed with an RBI triple and second baseman Dustin Pedroia added an RBI double for a 2-0 lead.
Boston pulled off the same trick again in the fourth, with Drew and Vazquez tripling and doubling in succession after center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. opened the inning with a triple. Bradley was erased when Bogaerts hit into his second double play, but Drew scored to bump the lead to 3-0 when Vazquez added his extra-base hit.
Lackey did not allow his first hit until the fourth inning but because he walked a pair of batters in advance of his two-out confrontation with Astros left fielder Enrique Hernandez that hit proved costly, with Hernandez driving home Jon Singleton with a single.
NOTES: Astros C Jason Castro returned to the starting lineup and batted second after missing the entirety of a three-game series with the Texas Rangers because of soreness in his left armpit area. … Red Sox RF Shane Victorino restarted a rehab assignment Thursday night at Class A Lowell, finishing 0-for-2 while playing five innings against Staten Island. Victorino was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 24 with a right hamstring strain. … The Astros will recall LHP Brett Oberholtzer from Triple-A Oklahoma City for a spot start Saturday against the Red Sox. Astros RHP Collin McHugh will be scratched and given the All-Star break to recover from a torn right middle fingernail. … Astros CF George Springer was scratched from the starting lineup with discomfort in his right knee. He is listed as day to day.