Dateline: Browns Chapel Stadium.
On a boiling hot spring afternoon, the Red Sox continued their road trip to the Astros home stadium at Browns Chapel. Coach Grossman was back at the helm after being away for a week.
The Sox jumped on the Astros starter for four quick runs. Jared led off with a walk, Garret and Justin singled, Matt walked to score Jared. TJ then walked to score Garrett and Jack hit a hard smash to center to score Justin and Matt. Before anyone knew it the Red Sox had a 4-0 lead. Garret strolled to the mound and was dominant. He struck out two Astros and set the tone for the day by quickly retiring the side on a groundout back to the mound where he made a nice throw to Justin at first.
The Sox continued to score runs in the second. William walked, Kyle walked and Michael hit a sharp grounder to load the bases. It was to be Michael’s first hit in a three hit day. With the bases loaded Corey drilled a shot to third to score William. Jared walked to score Kyle, Garrett walked to score Michael and Justin grounded into the first out of the inning to score Corey. The Red Sox now had a commanding 8-0 lead. Garrett continued his stellar work in the second with two quick strikeouts. Two singles and a walk scored the Astros frirst run, but Garrett settled down to strike out the next batter. After two it was 8-1 Red Sox.
In the third, the Red Sox again loaded the bases with no outs on a single by Matt, a single by Ben and a single by Jack. TJ grounded out and suddenly Ben was picked off of third. Red Sox fans stared blankly. Amid much criticism Coach Grossman put Coach Goldstein at third since he was at third for the Marlins game and Coach Grossman wanted as little change as possible. Red Sox fans are just despondent. They can’t seem to find a third base coach that can avoid horrible pickoffs at third. Again there was much talk in the stands of possible management changes after the season. Anyway, Matt was able to score, but then the Red Sox went down quietly. However, they had a 9-1 lead.
Michael went to the mound and had some control problems. He walked the first two. After that he settled down and Jared made a great stop on a grounder but the runner on first hustled nicely and made it to second just ahead of the throw. The next batter hit a smash to third which Kyle scooped, set his feet and made a perfect throw to second. Again, the runner barely beat the throw. On both plays, the Red Sox defense looked sharp. Unfortunately, another couple of hits scored some runs and after 3 it was getting exciting at 9-5.
The Red Sox added three key insurance runs in the fourth. A walk to Corey, Jared and Garrett loaded the bases. Justin grounded out to score Corey. Ben walked to score Jared, and TJ walked to score Garrett. Matt came on and induced the first batter to ground out to second where Justin made a nice scoop and threw to Michael at first. The next batter singled and went to second on an overthrow. He scored on two successive wild pitches. Matt settled down and quickly struck out the next two batters. After four innings it was now 12-6.
The Red Sox then put the game away in the fifth. William and Kyle walked. Michael hit a smash to center for a key hit to score William. Corey walked and Jared walked. Garret walked to score Kyle and Justin singled to score Michael and Corey. The score was now rather lopsided at 17-6. When Coach Grossman realized that the Red Sox now had a twelve run lead with an eight run limit for each team in the final inning, he requested that the inning would be stopped so the Astros would their final at bat. Mattt came on and got the first batter to ground out back to him on the mound and he threw to Justin at first. The next batter hit a long smash to left for a clean triple. After a walk, the next batter hit a shot to Garret at second who flipped to Justin at first. That scored one run and a single scored another run. Finally, another ground ball was hit to Garrett who threw to Justin for the final out of the game. After the two meaningfless runs scored and the ust had cleared, the Red Sox had a 17-8 victory.
Coach Goldstein was very pleased. he said “Good job by the kids today. We have to work on our communication problems at third but we’ll fix those in practice. I’m looking forward to the rest of our games.” Coach Grossman said “This team is really coming together. Despite the heat, our guys looked alive in the field, paid attention on the basepaths and really started hitting the ball.”
A few tickets remain for the extremely tough Devil Rays next Wednesday. They have seven wins and have been on a huge winning streak. It will be a thriller.