All Steven Wright does is get outs.

The 31-year-old knuckleballer, who was only in the Red Sox rotation to start this season because of Eduardo Rodriguez’s knee injury (and perhaps because he was out of options), has been the team’s best starter. Friday night, he cemented that distinction.

Steven Wright

Steven Wright

All Steven Wright does is get outs.

The 31-year-old knuckleballer, who was only in the Red Sox rotation to start this season because of Eduardo Rodriguez’s knee injury (and perhaps because he was out of options), has been the team’s best starter. Friday night, he cemented that distinction.

Wright allowed just one run over 6 2/3 innings, helping lead the Red Sox to a 6-2 win over the Astros, in the series-opener at Minute Maid Park.

The righty starter did walk five batters, but he also struck out six while giving up just four hits to lower his ERA to just 1.40 ERA after three starts.

In 14 career starts, Wright now has a 3.48 ERA, having gone six or more innings in five of his last six outings. During that recent six-start stretch, his ERA is just 2.06.

Wright was helped out by a Red Sox offense that continues to pull it’s weight, particularly early on. For the third straight game the Sox scored multiple runs in the first inning, this time putting up a pair.

The Sox offensive star was Mookie Betts, who came up just 90 feet shy of hitting for the cycle. The right fielder claimed a triple in his first at-bat, a double in his second and a single his third time up.

Betts made a bid for the rare feat in his fifth time up, rifling a line-drive to the right field fence, allowing him to race into third for his second triple of the night. The outfielder became the youngest Red Sox player to hit two triples in a game since Dwight Evans.

His four hits were part of a 15-hit attack for the Red Sox, the second straight game they notched that many.

The worst news of the night for the Red Sox came in the ninth inning when Xander Bogaerts was hit in the right wrist by a Luke Gregerson fastball. (For more on the injury, which forced the shortstop from the game, click here.)

For a complete box score, click here.

Closing Time note

Longtime Red Sox fan, and reigning NBA MVP, Steph Curry was in attendance, sitting behind home plate. To get an idea how big a Sox fan Curry is, understand he held his bachelor party at Fenway Park.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

– Wright managed to get through the first inning without incident, a task that he hadn’t been able to accomplish before facing the Astros. Coming into Friday night, the Sox starter had allowed two runs in the first frame in each of his first two appearances.

– Besides Betts, the Red Sox claimed four hitters with multiple-hit games, with Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, Hanley Ramirez and Travis Shaw each coming away with two hits apiece.

WHAT WENT WRONG

– David Ortiz was presented with a cowboy hat by the Astros before the game, but that would be the highlight of his night. The designated hitter went hitless after receiving the gift, serving as the only Sox starter not to claim at least one hit.

– Hanley Ramirez almost started a donnybrook with the hot-tempered Carlos Gomez after letting a pickoff throw hit the Houston baserunner. Take a look …

– Despite being staked with a five-run lead, Robbie Ross Jr. couldn’t close things out in the ninth inning, giving up a run on two hits before giving way to Craig Kimbrel to get the game’s final out.

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Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

With the game already in good shape for the Red Sox, they were dealt a potentially damaging blow.

Hitting with one out in the ninth inning, and the Sox leading the Astros, 6-1, Xander Bogaerts couldn’t get out of the way of a Luke Gregerson fastball. The pitch would hit the shortstop flush in the right wrist as he was diving to get out of the way.

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

With the game already in good shape for the Red Sox, they were dealt a potentially damaging blow.

Hitting with one out in the ninth inning, and the Sox leading the Astros, 6-1, Xander Bogaerts couldn’t get out of the way of a Luke Gregerson fastball. The pitch would hit the shortstop flush in the right wrist as he was diving to get out of the way.

Bogaerts remained on the ground while Red Sox head trainer Brad Pearson and manager John Farrell raced out to check on him. He would then be escorted off the field, heading into the clubhouse.

Chris Young came on to pinch-run for Bogaerts, who had two hits on the night to raise his batting average to .277.

There was no immediate announcement in regards to Bogaerts’ diagnosis.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Chris Colabello’s fairy-tale story has hit a roadblock.

The Milford native, and Assumption College product, was handed an 80-game suspension Friday by Major League Baseball for the use of performance-enhancing drugs, specifically the banned substance dehydrochlormethyltestosterone.

Milford's  Chris Colabello has been suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Milford’s Chris Colabello has been suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Chris Colabello’s fairy-tale story has hit a roadblock.

The Milford native, and Assumption College product, was handed an 80-game suspension Friday by Major League Baseball for the use of performance-enhancing drugs, specifically the banned substance dehydrochlormethyltestosterone.

The 31-year-old first baseman had seemingly found his niche with the Blue Jays last season, finishing the 2015 campaign hitting .321 with an .886 OPS and 15 homers in 101 games with the Blue Jays.

Colabello had gotten off to a slow start this season, going 2-for-29 in 10 games with the Jays.

Prior to 2015, he played in parts of two seasons with the Twins after spending seven seasons with Independent League teams in Worcester and Nashua.

Colabello isn’t eligible to return to the Jays until just before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline, and won’t be available to play in any postseason play, as dictated by rules of the suspension.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

The last time Steven Wright pitched in Houston it didn’t go so well.

Ryan Hanigan

Ryan Hanigan

The last time Steven Wright pitched in Houston it didn’t go so well.

Making his fourth major league start, the knuckleballer lasted just one inning, allowing three runs on one hit while throwing just 18 of his 38 pitches for strikes. But the reason he was pulled was also because Ryan Lavarnway, Wright’s batterymate at the time, couldn’t handle the starter’s primary pitch, succumbing to four passed balls.

This time around at Minute Maid Park, Wright will have Ryan Hanigan handle his knuckleball in the Red Sox’ series opener against the Astros. It will be the third time the pair have teamed up.

Here is the Sox’ starting lineup against Houston starter Collin McHugh:

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Travis Shaw 3B
Brock Holt LF
Ryan Hanigan C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

For all the matchups, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

The Red Sox announced Friday that Roenis Elias will be joining the club, with William Cuevas returning to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Elias will presumably work out of the Sox bullpen despite the fact he has spent the first few weeks of the 2016 season as a starter for the PawSox. In two starts with Pawtucket, the lefty gave up four earned runs in 9 1/3 innings (3.86 ERA).

Roenis Elias

Roenis Elias

The Red Sox announced Friday that Roenis Elias will be joining the club, with William Cuevas returning to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Elias will presumably work out of the Sox bullpen despite the fact he has spent the first few weeks of the 2016 season as a starter for the PawSox. In two starts with Pawtucket, the lefty gave up four earned runs in 9 1/3 innings (3.86 ERA).

Elias, who came to the Red Sox with Carson Smith from Seattle in exchange for Wade Miley and Jonathan Aro, has worked almost exclusively as a starting pitcher throughout his professional career. In 51 appearances with the Mariners over the past two seasons, 49 of them have been starts.

The Red Sox had worked Elias as a reliever during the final two weeks of spring training, but weren’t satisfied with the results when he pitched on a regular basis.

Cuevas’ lone appearance with the Red Sox came Thursday, pitching 2 1/3 innings while taking the loss against the Rays.

As for the players traded by the Red Sox to get Elias and Smith (who is currently on the 15-day disabled list), Miley has an 8.04 ERA in three starts, and Aro has a 2.61 ERA while pitching out of the bullpen for Triple-A Tacoma.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford