Carlos Correa hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and the Houston Astros scored twice on infield grounders in the fourth en route to a 4-2 win over the visiting Boston Red Sox on Thursday at Minute Maid Park.
Correa, slugging just .365 in May, belted a 2-1 fastball from Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz out to left field, scoring Alex Bregman and staking the Astros to a 2-0 lead.
After the Red Sox pulled even in the top of the third, Houston relied on small-ball tactics to reclaim the lead.
What initially appeared to be a bad-luck bounce for the Astros proved inconsequential in the fourth inning. Tim Federowicz lost an RBI when his double to right-center field bounced over the wall and into the home bullpen. J.D. Davis, likely to score from first base on the play, instead remained at third with one out and the bottom of the order up for Houston.
However, Tony Kemp and Jake Marisnick delivered run-scoring grounders, with Davis scoring before the throw from Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland to give the Astros a 3-2 lead. Federowicz advanced to third and scored when Marisnick executed a safety squeeze bunt.
Pomeranz (1-3) allowed four runs on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts in five innings.
Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (7-3) pitched around solo baserunners in the second, fifth, and sixth innings, and he even when he scuffled through the third, he found a path to recovery.
McCullers surrendered a pair of doubles in the third, including one to Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts that scored Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi, the latter of whom reached via a four-pitch walk after Bradley stroked a leadoff double. But with Bogaerts, who took third as Benintendi slid into home, 90 feet away representing the go-ahead run, McCullers fanned Moreland before getting Boston slugger J.D. Martinez to ground out to Correa at short.
McCullers limited Boston to two runs on four hits and two walks over six innings. Right-handers Will Harris, Hector Rondon, and Ken Giles combined to allow two hits over three scoreless innings, with Giles earning his 10th save.
—Field Level Media