(Sports Network) – Josh Beckett tries to bounce back from a shaky outing his last time out when the Boston Red Sox wrap up a three-game interleague series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Beckett, whose previous start had been skipped because of an illness, was hit hard by Philadelphia on Tuesday for five runs and five hits – two home runs – in six innings, dropping him to 6-3, while raising his earned run average to a still stingy 2.20.
“I thought, as expected, he didn’t feel strong throughout the game,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “It was hot and he was coming off being real sick. I thought the two pitches, the one pitch he tried to go in on [Domonic] Brown and the other pitch he tried to go away, and it cost him four runs. Other than that, I actually thought he pitched pretty well.”
Beckett has faced the Astros six times and is 2-2 with a 2.20 ERA.
Boston put itself in position for a sweep on Saturday, as Darnell McDonald’s three-run homer came during a four-run eighth inning in the Red Sox’ 10-4 win. Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia all collected three hits and drove in a run apiece for Boston, which has won three straight.
Andrew Miller (2-0) worked six innings for the win, giving up seven hits, two runs and two walks with three strikeouts.
Hunter Pence finished 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI for the Astros, who have dropped 10 of their last 12. Michael Bourn, though, tied a career high with four hits and scored pair of runs in the loss.
J.A. Happ (3-10) lasted 6 2/3 frames in defeat and was touched for seven hits and five runs while walking three and fanning as many batters.
Houston will hand the ball to rookie Jordan Lyles, who at 0-3 is still searching for his first big league win. Lyles absorbed the loss on Tuesday against the Texas Rangers, as he was hit for five runs and 10 hits in six innings, upping his ERA to 4.75.
“I walked the first batter of the game, and I don’t know if I can recall if I’ve ever done that,” Lyles said. “I don’t know what the ball-to-strike ratio was tonight, but I felt like it couldn’t have been good. I missed a lot of spots. It might not have been balls, but I just left balls over the plate. That’s just as bad as a ball.”
This will be his first-ever appearance against the Red Sox.
Houston took two of three from the Red Sox the last time these teams met back in 2008.