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.
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.