Yamaico Navarro hit a pinch-hit home run, and Darnell McDonald launched a three-run blast to help lead the Red Sox to a 10-4 win over over the Astros Saturday night in Houston. The win was the Sox' fourth of the nine-game road trip with one more game slated against the Astros before heading home for a seven-game homestand starting Monday. They remain 2 1/2 games in back of the first-place Yankees.
For Navarro, the seventh-inning solo shot was the first time a Red Sox player has claimed his first career big league home run via a pinch-hit since Juan Diaz went deep on June 23, 2002. McDonald's homer, meanwhile, capped a four-run eighth inning for the Sox against Astros reliever Fernando Abad.
Earning the win was starter Andrew Miller, who lowered his ERA to 3.06 after allowing just two runs over six innings, giving up seven hits, striking out three and walking two. The lefty threw 85 pitches (55 strikes) in his third start for the Sox.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona said before his team's game with the Astros Saturday that Carl Crawford is making progress from his left hamstring injury. The outfielder ran at 70 percent intensity Friday in Houston, and took batting practice on the field Saturday. It was the first outdoor BP session Crawford had participated in since going on the 15-day disabled list.
"He's building," Francona told reporters regarding Crawford. "It was a real productive day." Crawford is eligible to come off the DL Sunday, but will have to wait until the Red Sox return to Fenway Park to be activated, the manager said.
In 67 games, Crawford is hitting .243 with a .659 OPS, stealing eight bases and hitting six home runs.
For more Red Sox news, see the team page at weei.com/redsox.
The Red Sox' lineup against Houston lefty J.A. Happ will have Jacoby Ellsbury back in the leadoff spot, David Ortiz manning first base for the second time this road trip, and Adrian Gonzalez making his second start in right field this season.
Ellsbury missed Friday night's Red Sox win due to illness, while Ortiz has managed just eight at-bats during the Sox' current interleague road swing. In Gonzalez' previous foray into the outfield, coming in the Sox' loss to the Phillies Wednesday night, he failed to get an legitimate chances in the field.
Despite throwing from the left side, Happ has had more trouble with left-handed hitting, with opponents hitting .328 from the left side compared to a .261 clip for righties. Happ has lost his last five decisions, allowing five earned runs in each of his previous two starts.
The following is the Red Sox lineup:
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Adrian Gonzalez RF
Yahoo! Sports national basketball writer Adrian Wojnarowski joined Tom Caron and Lou Merloni to discuss the NBA lockout, which began Friday at midnight. By Wojnarowski's estimation, basketball fans should be prepared to wait a while.
"I think there's a real chance that they lose a whole season with this lockout," Wojnarowski said. "I don't claim to be an expert on the NFL labor dispute. I'm not sure I'm an expert on the NBA's yet, but I don't think they're looking to change the structure of things in the NFL. In the NBA, they're changing the structure, and really the whole system. That's not going to come easily. I think the comparison is what happened in hockey, where they tried to put the hard cap, and they lost the full season in '04-'05. I think that's where we may be headed with this stoppage.
"There's no doubt in my mind they will miss games, and they'll be where they were in '98, where it's either going to be a...
The Stars announced announced have signed free agent winger Michael Ryder. The Newfoundland native played the last three seasons with the Bruins, scoring 63 regular-season goals over the span and winning the Stanley Cup last month.
The deal is for two years and $7 million, meaning Ryder will have a salary cap it of $3.5 million each year. Ryder is coming off a three-year, $12 million pact with the Bruins signed on July 1 of 2008.
After breaking into the league with the Canadiens, Ryder left Montreal for Boston and scored 27 goals in his debut season with Boston. He followed with 18 goals in each of the next two seasons, but developed a reputation as a big-game player due to his increased production in the postseason. Ryder had eight goals and nine assists in the postseason last year for the Bruins.
Tomas Kaberle is now the only Bruin from the Stanley Cup finals lineup left on the open market.
For more on the Bruins,...
We get deep in to some quarterback discussion with ESPN analyst/former NFL starter Trent Dilfer.
Head Coach Bill Belichick on Patriots Monday
Former Patriot Heath Evans, now with the NFL Network, joins Dale, Holley and Thornton every Monday for a thorough analysis of the Patriots and the NFL. This week we break down the shutout of Houston, and look ahead to the Bills.
Sam Packard is joined by Celtics 2nd Round draft pick Abdel Nader to discuss his path to the the NBA and how he plans to improve his game. Sam then talks to Player Development Coach Nick Friedman from Elite Skills Training, the pre-Draft camp Nader attended. Friedman also gives his opinion on the Celtics performance at summer league and the development of Jaylen Brown.
Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy
Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.
Rob Bradford is joined by Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello, who is in line to serve as the team's No. 1 starter heading into the postseason. Porcello offers insight in terms of how previous playoff experiences have shaped him heading into this October, while going into detail how he plans on preparing for these starts. The righty also talks about an interesting change he made this season on days he doesn't pitch.
Joe and Tim talk with the Red Sox skipper John Farrell about the turnaround from last season with his club and how hard they worked to reach this point
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox starting pitcher about how it feels to be one of the veterans on the club as they head into the playoffs as AL East Champs
Joey Mac joins Ken Laird on his Saturday show to discuss the David Backes addition and Loui Eriksson departure in NHL free agency
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Gary Tanguay walked out on the show for the second time in three months this morning. Here is the management approved version of today's events.
Kirk flipped out at Curtis and Fred Couples cried.
In hour three Tomase, Callahan and Minihane discuss Trump's comments this morning on Fox and Friends as well as Big Papi's farewell weekend at Fenway.
Glenn, Lou and Christian joke around with audio from a grab-bag of topics, including David Ortiz driving for Lyft, Rex Ryan joining the Buffalo media conference call, and Jim Mora coming back with another great rant.
Red Sox President of Baseball Ops. Dave Dombrowski checks in with Glenn, Lou and Christian to talk about what the playoff roster might look like, and to give the latest update on Pablo Sandoval.
Tom E. Curran joins Glenn, Lou and Christian to talk about Jimmy Garoppolo & Jacoby Brissett, and talk about what he say from a day of practice and press conferences down at Gillette.
Vintage Rex today... while Belichick is deep in to game film and preparation, Rex is making practical jokes against Julian Edelman and getting testy with the Boston media.
John joins us from NY and tells us why he left Price in, what to expect from the rest of this Yankees series, and more.
Inspired by what should happen at Yankee Stadium tonight or tomorrow, we look at four other memorable moments in which the Red Sox clinched a playoff berth.
Kirk Minihane sits down with the Boston Globes Sports Media Columnist, Chad Finn. Kirk and Chad talk about the long and storied feud between WEEI and the Boston Globe and the ongoing ratings war between WEEI and the Hub.
Kirk and Gerry talk about how the show is going since the departure of John Dennis, how the fill-in hosts have been doing so far, and what they are looking for in a third host.
Kirk Minihane loves TV and movies, he sits down with TV critic and author of the new book "TV (The Book)" Alan Sepinwall to discuss the best TV shows of all-time and which show should be number 1. Kirk and Alan disagree on which show is the best of all-time and they both have compelling arguments. Kirk and Alan talk about "Cheers" being one of the most underrated and forgotten TV shows of all-time.
Gerry Callahan and Jeff Kuhner react to the first presidential debate of this election season. Gerry is convinced Trump lost the first debate while Jeff thinks otherwise. Gerry and Jeff talk about what Trump needs to do better in the upcoming debates.
K&C producers Ken Laird & Chris Curtis are joined by WEEI intern and Recap Show host Lucy Burdge to discuss another explosive Gary Tanguay appearance on the program that featured Tango's second walkout.
Gary stormed out of the studio for the second time in three months after he was labeled a bad father and a pedophile. His future at the station remains highly in doubt.More from this show
Kirk flipped out at Curtis and Fred Couples cried.More from this show
Who is more important, Brady or Belichick? Tim Hasselbeck is pissed at Kirk and Gerry and Dan Le Batard cried.More from this show