HOUSTON — Brett Oberholtzer threw seven shutout innings, and L.J. Hoes scored twice to lead the Houston Astros to a 2-0 win over the Boston Red Sox on Monday.
Oberholtzer (2-0) allowed four hits while walking two and striking out two. In his first two career starts, Oberholtzer has thrown 14 scoreless innings, allowing seven hits.
Hoes and Jonathan Villar each had two hits for the Astros, who snapped a four-game losing streak.
Houston took a 1-0 lead in the fifth. Hoes led off with a single and stole second and scored on a single by Robbie Grossman.
The Astros added a run in the seventh to make it 2-0.
Hoes led off the inning with a double and scored on a suicide squeeze bunt by Brandon Barnes off Junichi Tazawa.
The Red Sox, who lost for the second time in their past seven games, put runners on the corners with two outs in the eighth after a David Ortiz bloop single off Wesley Wright advanced Jacoby Ellsbury to third, but Josh Fields struck out Mike Napoli to end the inning.
Fields struck out the side in the ninth for his first save of the season.
Oberholtzer did not allow a hit until Dustin Pedroia’s single in the fourth. He was caught stealing to end the inning.
Stephen Drew laced a two-out double to right in the fifth but was left stranded.
Boston threatened in the sixth with a two-out single by Pedroia and a walk to Ortiz, but Oberholtzer got a groundout by Napoli to second to end the inning.
The Red Sox threatened again in the seventh as Jonny Gomes led off with a double and moved to third on a Jarrod Saltalamacchia flyout to right. Oberholtzer got out of the jam by striking out Drew and Brandon Snyder to end the inning.
Boston starter John Lackey appeared to have rolled his left ankle to end the second inning, coming off the mound for a soft chopper hit by Matt Dominguez. Lackey threw to first for the third out and hobbled off the field with a trainer and coach but came back out for the third inning.
Lackey (7-9) allowed two runs and eight hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts in six innings. Lackey has lost three straight decisions.
NOTES: Red Sox OF Shane Victorino was selected AL Player of the Week Monday for the week of July 29-August 4. ... Red Sox OF Daniel Nava will miss the three-game series against the Astros after being placed on paternity leave Monday for the birth of his daughter, Faith, who was born Monday. Boston recalled RHP Brandon Workman from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Nava’s spot on the roster. ... Houston minor league pitcher LHP Sergio Escalona was suspended 50 games Monday for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Escalona was pitching at Double-A Corpus Christi. ... Jordan Lyles starts for Houston against Boston’s Steven Wright in the second game of the series on Tuesday.
WHITE SOX 8, YANKEES 1
CHICAGO — Alex Rodriguez blooped a single into left field in his first at-bat of the season, hours after being hit with a long suspension.
It was a nice start for the embattled slugger, but that was it. The finish belonged to the Chicago White Sox.
Rodriguez went 1 for 4 in his first game for New York, but the White Sox beat the struggling Yankees 8-1 on Monday night to snap a 10-game losing streak.
Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 by Major League Baseball in the Biogenesis case, a punishment he is appealing.
That clearly was the biggest story on a day when New York’s Derek Jeter went back on the disabled list because of a strained right calf and Andy Pettitte (7-9) got knocked out early. Alex Rios drove in four runs, Alexei Ramirez added four hits and Jose Quintana (6-3) pitched into the seventh for the White Sox.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, is digging in, ready to go toe to toe with MLB.
At 38 and coming back from hip surgery, he said he’s fighting for his life. He was welcomed back with the same sort of greeting he got on the road in the past, a series of boos and jeers amplified by the penalty announced earlier in the day.
The crowd at U.S. Cellular Field booed the three-time MVP during pregame warmups and introductions. When he stepped to the plate in the second inning for his first at-bat of the season, they could have drowned out a jet.
They weren’t feeling any better after Rodriguez dropped a leadoff single into shallow left on the third pitch. He moved to third with no outs on Vernon Wells’ double but was stranded.
Rodriguez flied out in his second and third at-bats and handled a few grounders at third, getting booed every time he stepped to the plate or touched the ball.
He also struck out in the eighth as fans chanted “Steroids! Steroids!”
Rodriguez did not deny using performance-enhancing drugs in a news conference after the punishment came down. Instead he said he will talk about whether he used PEDs at another time when he is more free to speak.
He did say he has to defend himself because no one else will.
The Yankees are hoping Rodriguez can provide some sort of spark even though they’re fading from the playoff picture and inject some power into the lineup. That’s something they haven’t gotten, particularly from their third basemen.
Pettitte, however, did them no favors. He lasted 2 2-3 innings in his shortest outing of the season while matching season highs for runs (seven) and hits (11). He fell to 0-3 in his last four starts.
Rios delivered an RBI single and scored during a three-run first. He added a two-run double in the second that made it 5-0.
Rios then capped a two-run third with a bases-loaded walk after Preston Claiborne replaced Pettitte, making it 7-0.
That was more than enough for Quintana, who gave up one run and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings.
NOTES: Besides Rodriguez, Yankees C Francisco Cervelli and minor league OF Fernando Martinez were suspended 50 games. “I think he had made strides this year as a player, and I want him to come into spring training ready to go, try to learn from what has happened,” manager Joe Girardi said when asked about Cervelli. ... With Jeter going on the DL, the Yankees recalled infielder Dave Adams from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. They also designated infielder Brent Lillibridge for assignment, and Rodriguez was activated from the disabled list. Outfielder Thomas Neal was claimed off waivers by the Cubs. ... White Sox LF Dayan Viciedo jammed his left thumb diving for Robinson Cano’s single in the first inning and left the game. The team said X-rays were negative and he’s day to day. ... RHP Hiroki Kuroda (10-6, 2.38 ERA) starts for the Yankees, with LHP Chris Sale (6-11, 2.92) pitching for Chicago on Tuesday.
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