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Sports

Sox Beat ‘Stros in Comeback Fashion

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Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia, center, slides safely into home to score on a two-run double hit by Adrian Gonzalez as Houston Astros relief pitcher Wilton Lopez (59) watches during the seventh inning of an interleague baseball game Friday, July 1, 2011, in Houston. The Red Sox's Darnell McDonald also scored on Gonzalez's double. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Boston Red Sox’s Dustin Pedroia, center, slides safely into home to score on a two-run double hit by Adrian Gonzalez as Houston Astros relief pitcher Wilton Lopez (59) watches during the seventh inning of an interleague baseball game Friday, July 1, 2011, in Houston. The Red Sox’s Darnell McDonald also scored on Gonzalez’s double. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) _ Adrian Gonzalez hit a go-ahead two-run double after Dustin Pedroia drove in a pair of runs during Boston’s six-run seventh inning, helping the Red Sox rally for a 7-5 win over the Houston Astros on Friday night.

Marco Scutaro started the game with his third homer of the season, but Boston didn’t get another hit until J.D. Drew began the seventh inning with a single.

Josh Reddick and Drew Sutton each drove in a run before Pedroia’s bases-loaded single with one out tied it at 5 and set up Gonzalez’s clutch swing.

Houston starter Bud Norris struck out 10 in six-plus innings, but was charged with four runs and four hits in the opener of the third-ever series between these teams and first since 2008.

Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield yielded a season-high 11 hits with five runs in 5 1-3 innings in his first appearance against the Astros since July 1993 for the Pirates at the Astrodome.

Jonathan Papelbon worked around Hunter Pence’s two-out single to earn his 16th save.

Pence finished with two hits and two RBIs for the last-place Astros, who have dropped 12 of 16.

Reddick’s RBI double in the seventh drove in Drew and chased Norris. Sutton delivered a run-scoring single before Sergio Escalona (1-1) plunked pinch-hitter Darnell McDonald to load the bases and set up Pedroia’s hit.

Norris walked one in the second, third, fifth and sixth, but largely stayed out of trouble until the seventh. All the strikeouts helped, including the side in the fourth inning.

Norris also singled in Clint Barmes to give Houston a 5-1 lead in the sixth. Norris’ hit chased Wakefield, who was replaced by Dan Wheeler (1-1).

Carlos Lee had an RBI double for the Astros, and Angel Sanchez drove in a run with a bunt hit. Pence had a sacrifice fly in the first and a run-scoring ground-rule double in the second when a fan reached onto the field to try and grab the grounder and was escorted out of the stadium after the play.

David Ortiz, who is normally the designated hitter for Boston, struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.

NOTES: Scutaro was batting leadoff with Jacoby Ellsbury out with an illness. … Houston 2B Jeff Keppinger was out for the second straight day after experiencing nausea before Thursday’s game. … Boston’s Kevin Youkilis returned after sitting out Thursday’s game in Philadelphia with a bone bruise in his left foot. … Red Sox manager Terry Francona says LF Carl Crawford is unlikely to return to the lineup when he’s due to come off the disabled list on Sunday. Crawford strained a hamstring in a June 17 game against Milwaukee. “He needs some more time,” Francona said. Crawford, a Houston native, was disappointed that he probably won’t get to play in his hometown this weekend. “We’re trying to move as quickly as we can,” Crawford said of his recovery. … Francona says he may play Ortiz at first base on Saturday to face LHP J.A. Happ. Ortiz is hitting .341 against left-handers this season, and .290 against
right-handers.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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