July 2011

Astros-Red Sox postgame notes

Here are some postgame notes from the Astros’ 7-5 loss to the Red Sox, who scored six runs in the seventh inning Friday night:

• RHP Bud Norris went 6.0 innings, allowing 4 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks and did not factor into the decision…he struck out 10 hitters, marking his 4th career double-digit strikeout game and his 2nd this season (also, 5/1/11 vs. MIL-11K).
• CF Michael Bourn singled and scored in each of the 1st 2 innings, both times being driven in by RF Hunter Pence…Pence has now driven in Bourn 25 times this season, which is more more times than any other player has driven in a teammate in 2011.
• By collecting his 1st inning single, Bourn extended his hitting streak to 10 games, his 2nd 10+ gamer this season…during the streak, Bourn is hitting .357 (15×42) with 4 doubles, 1 triple, 6 steals and 3 RBI.
• Pence entered tonight’s game ranked T-7th in RBI in the National League and extended his season total 55 with 2 more RBI tonight…he is on pace for 107 RBI this season.
• LF Carlos Lee went 2×5 with an RBI tonight and has now recorded an RBI in 6 straight games…the last time Lee went at least 6 straight games with an RBI was from 5/6-11/2008 (also 6 games)…Lee’s run in 2008 also marks the last time an Astro had an RBI in 6 straight.
• SS Clint Barmes picked up another 2 hits tonight, both doubles, and now has hits in 5 straight games, hitting at a .526 (10×19) clip in that time frame…in those last 5 games, Barmes has 6 doubles.
• The Red Sox came back from a 4-run deficit to win behind a 6-run 7th inning…entering tonight, the club already led the American League in batting average in the 7th inning or later and increased that mark up to .276 (258×936) by going 6×15 in those frames tonight…the Sox have now scored 74 runs in the 7th inning this season (no other MLB club has more than 47).
• With the win, the Sox improved to 8-8 this season in Interleague games…the club has gone 17-8 overall in their last 25 games and have outscored their opponents 155-93 over that span.
• SS Marco Scutaro led off tonight’s game with his 2nd homer this season…it marked his 5th career leadoff home run and his 1st since 4/30/09 at KC…it was also the 3rd leadoff homer by a Red Sock this season, both of them previously hit by Jacoby Ellsbury, most recently accomplished on 6/17 vs. MIL…tonight marked Scutaro’s 1st time to bat leadoff this season.
• 2B Dustin Pedroia went 1×3 with 2 walks and 2 RBI including the game-tying 2-run single in the 6th inning…including tonight, Pedroia has reached base safely in 15 straight games (since 6/15), hitting .333 (19×57) with a .451 OBP.
• 1B Adrian Gonzalez accounted for the go-ahead runs with a 2-run double in the 7th frame…with 2 RBI tonight, Gonzalez increased his Major League leading RBI total to 73.
• C Humberto Quintero began his rehab assignment for Triple A Oklahoma City tonight in their game at Memphis…Quintero caught 5.0 innings and went 1×3 with a double and a run scored…he scored from 2nd base on the play and had no complaints about his injured right ankle.
• Jacoby Ellsbury was scratched from tonight’s lineup due to illness, marking his 1st missed game of the season.

Carpenter has solid debut for Astros

With his Major League debut under his belt, Astros reliever David Carpenter plans to give the baseball he used to record his first Major League strikeout to his father, who was in attendance Thursday night at Minute Maid Park.

Carpenter, who was called up Wednesday after throwing 19 consecutive scoreless innings at Triple-A Oklahoma City, needed only 16 pitches to throw a perfect eighth inning, striking out Rangers outfielder Craig Gentry swinging for his first out.

“Lot of nerves,” Carpenter said. “But it was everything I hoped would be. [Oklahoma City teammate Nelson] Figueroa told me there’s nothing like that first time going out there, and he was right. I tried to keep my nerves about me and tried to stay calm and work in the zone, work quick, and try to get ahead of guys. I fell behind a couple of times, but I was able to work my way around it.”

Astros interim pitching coach Doug Brocail helped Carpenter retrieve the ball he used to strike out Gentry after it was fouled into the stands during the next at-bat and presented it to him in the dugout.

“It’s definitely a special ball,” Carpenter said. “It’s going to straight to dad because he spent the most time with me in the backyard. It’s definitely special occasion.”

Carpenter’s father, Darrell, who made the trip to Houston from West Virginia along with David’s mother, Barbara, and girlfriend, Brooke Keene, said he couldn’t have been more proud of his son.

“It was very exciting,” he said. “I was very proud of him. To come out with the first batter he faced and strike him out, was just amazing to me. To battle back from being down 3-0 to get the second out, I couldn’t ask for a better outing. If he was half as nervous as I was, he didn’t show.”