Neither Masterson or Straily lasted long Friday


BOSTON -- Talking points from the Red Sox' 12-8 loss in 10 innings against the Astros Friday.


Correa was one of the many Astros who hit around the Sox on Friday night, but his hits were the timeliest. He gave the Astros an 8-7 lead with a solo shot in the eighth inning, and again game them a 9-8 lead with an RBI single in the 10th. It proved to be the game-winning hit.

STARTERS REPORT: Womp, womp. Two pitchers that didn't deserve wins tonight both left without the opportunity to win. Justin Masterson had an early 2-0 lead but blew up for five runs in a rough fourth inning. And with a 5-2 lead in the fifth inning, Dan Straily allowed three runs (though he was a bit unlucky - more on that in a bit). Both starters were out of the game before the fifth inning ended.

Masterson's line is troubling, as he lasted just 3.2 innings and allowed five runs on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts. He didn't get the best help on defense, as one hit off the wall in left field wasn't played correctly by Hanley Ramirez and the infield, allowing a run to score. But overall, the Astros just got to Masterson in the fourth inning and batted around on him before he was yanked with two men on and two outs.

TURNING POINT: Could be the error by Napoli in the top of the 10th. The ball was hit sharply to him, but it went right through his legs. We might be talking about a double-play if it's fielded cleanly. Instead, it was two men on and zero outs - and the Astros went on to score four runs and win the game. Tough game for Napoli, who also went 0-for-5 at the plate.

WHAT I LIKED: It was nice to see the Red Sox put up a fight on Friday, even if they didn't pull out the victory. After taking a 2-0 lead, they found themselves trailing 5-2 in the fourth inning. One inning later they had tied it up. After the Astros went ahead 7-5 in the top of the seventh, the Sox responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. In the eighth inning, Craig Breslow served up a solo shot to Carlos Correa. Again(!) the Sox tied it up after David Ortiz doubled in Xander Bogaerts. That's three comebacks.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: It's gotta be Masterson. Once again he failed to go deep into a game, and actually had his second-shortest outing of the year, just 3.2 innings. When the Sox called up Masterson, they had planned on putting him in the bullpen. Then Joe Kelly was sent down, which opened up a rotation spot - Masterson slid back in. But it's hard to really believe he's the best candidate for the job at this point. He doesn't go deep enough into games, and that puts a strain on the bullpen. He's just not dependable enough as a starter right now. I didn't like the pitching as a whole tonight, for obvious reasons. Craig Breslow's solo shot was rough.

COME ON, HANLEY - Set aside the sketchy plays in left field once again. This has to do with the fact that Ramirez forgot the count in a crucial part of the game. In the seventh inning of a 7-5 game, with two men on, no outs, and a full count, Ramirez took ball four. He then stayed at the plate while everybody kind of stood around and looked at him. Uh, Hanley? It's ball four. Take your base. It's not that hard, fellas. Pay attention out there.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Sox and Astros are back at it on Independence Day as Clay Buchholz (6-6, 3.48 ERA) takes on Collin McHugh (9-3, 4.51 ERA).

Buchholz is 2-0 with a 1.52 ERA and .190 opponent average in three starts against the Astros. The ERA and opponent average are the lowest marks against any team faced in his career (minimum 20.0 IP).

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