Final

Series: Game 1 of 4

Boston leads 1-0 (as of 4/25)

Game 1: Thursday, April 25
Houston2Final
Boston7
Game 2: Friday, April 26
Houston3Final
Boston7
Game 3: Saturday, April 27
Houston4Final
Boston8
Game 4: Sunday, April 28
Houston1Final
Boston6

Astros 2

(7-15, 3-7 away)

Red Sox 7

(15-7, 8-5 home)

    Coverage:  NESN

    6:35 PM ET, April 25, 2013

    Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

    123456789 R H E
    HOU 011000000 2 7 1
    BOS 40102000 - 7 11 0

    W: C. Buchholz (5-0)

    L: P. Humber (0-5)

    Astros-Red Sox Preview

    STATS LLC

    The Boston Red Sox's starting rotation has one of the best ERAs in the AL, thanks in large part to Clay Buchholz's stellar performances.

    Buchholz looks to win five straight starts for the second time in his career as Boston opens a four-game series against the visiting Houston Astros on Thursday night.

    The Red Sox's starting staff has a solid 3.14 ERA after Jon Lester helped Boston (14-7) earn a 6-5 win over Oakland on Wednesday. The team had dropped three of its previous five to open a 10-game homestand.

    David Ortiz went 2 for 4 with an RBI and is 8 for 16 since returning to the lineup Saturday for the first time since last August. He missed 71 of the final 72 games last season and all of spring training's with an Achilles tendon injury.

    "Right now I'm not where I want to be, so I'm not trying to juice some balls," Ortiz said. "I'm trying to stay with what they give me."

    Buchholz (4-0, 0.90 ERA) hopes to add another outstanding performance to his list in his first career start against Houston. He had a 22-inning scoreless streak before giving up a run in the fifth inning of Saturday's 4-3 win over Kansas City, and ended up allowing two runs while striking out six in eight innings.

    The only time he won five consecutive starts came from May 14-June 4, 2010.

    "Obviously when the numbers are good that makes you feel a little bit better," said Buchholz, who has 29 strikeouts in 30 innings. "I feel like I've done the work in between my starts and everything is going really good right now."

    Houston starter Philip Humber, meanwhile, is coming off one of the worst performances of his career.

    Humber (0-4, 6.63) gave up eight runs and eight hits in just one-third of an inning of a 19-6 loss to Cleveland on Saturday. He had a 2.89 ERA over his first three outings but received one total run of support and suffered the loss in each.

    "It's not fun," Humber told the team's official website. "It's not what you planned on and not what you worked for. It's just one of those nights. I'll get them next time."

    The right-hander has gone 4-9 with a 7.26 ERA in 18 starts since throwing a perfect game for the Chicago White Sox against Seattle on April 21, 2012 -- a stretch that began when he gave up a career-worst nine runs in a loss to Boston on April 26.

    Humber is 2-2 with a 7.33 ERA in four career starts versus the Red Sox, though he allowed two runs in six innings in a 7-5 victory July 17 in his most recent outing against them.

    The Astros (7-14) hope their offense is beginning to come around after beating Seattle 10-3 on Wednesday at home, as Chris Carter, Ronny Cedeno and Brandon Laird homered. They're averaging 6.3 runs while going 4-2 versus the Mariners but just 3.3 in going 3-12 against everyone else.

    Robbie Grossman had two doubles in his major league debut replacing Justin Maxwell, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a broken left hand sustained after being hit by a pitch Tuesday.

    "He adds a dynamic to our club, some more speed at the top of the lineup and a guy that gets on base," manager Bo Porter said.

    Boston has won seven of the nine all-time meetings with Houston, including a three-game sweep June 13-15, 2003, in the only matchups at Fenway Park.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Gameday Matchup

     HoustonBoston
    W-L51-11197-65
    Night40-7669-50
    Grass49-10686-58
    Current StreakL15L2
    Last 100-105-5

    Pitching Matchup

    HoustonBoston
    P. Humber
    0-8, 7.90 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/22 at CLE
    2.0 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = ND
    C. Buchholz
    12-1, 1.74 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/27 at BAL
    7.0 IP, 3 ER
    Dec = Win

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.HoustonBoston
    1. R. Grossman, CF J. Ellsbury, CF
    2. J. Altuve, 2B D. Nava, RF
    3. J. Castro, C D. Pedroia, 2B
    4. C. Pena, 1B D. Ortiz, DH
    5. C. Carter, DH M. Napoli, 1B
    6. F. Martinez, LF M. Carp, LF
    7. M. Dominguez, 3B J. Saltalamacchia, C
    8. R. Ankiel, RF W. Middlebrooks, 3B
    9. M. Gonzalez, SS S. Drew, SS