BOSTON (AP) — John Lackey returned from the disabled list and pitched six solid innings, David Ortiz drove in two more runs and the Boston Red Sox matched a team record with its 18th win in April by beating the Houston Astros 6-1 yesterday for a four-game sweep.
Lackey (1-1) missed all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery and went on the DL after leaving his first start this year with a strained right biceps. He allowed five hits, struck out four and walked two. The two walks came with two outs in the first and cost Lackey his only run.
Stephen Drew hit a two-run triple and Ortiz had two hits, extending his hitting streak to 20 games dating back to last season. Ortiz has 11 RBIs and is batting .516 in eight games since returning to the lineup last weekend.
Bud Norris (3-3) struck out six for Houston and held the Red Sox to three earned runs.
A double error by shortstop Marwin Gonzalez led to two unearned runs in the fourth that put Boston up 4-1, an insurmountable margin for the Astros as they failed to deliver runs once again.
Houston left nine runners on base and was 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position yesterday. The Astros were just 5 for 38 in the series. They had a runner on third with two outs in the ninth, but Daniel Nava ended the game with a diving catch in right field.
Ronny Cedeno drove in Houston’s only run with a single in the first after Lackey had walked Jason Castro and Carlos Pena with two outs.
The Astros loaded the bases with one out in the sixth on consecutive singles by Castro, Pena and Cedeno, but Lackey got himself out of the jam by striking out Fernando Martinez and getting Matt Dominguez to ground into a fielder’s choice.