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HOUSTON -- Boston shortstop Stephen Drew drilled a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning as the Red Sox claimed their sixth comeback victory since July 30, a 7-5 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.
Houston right-hander Josh Fields (1-2), who earned his first career save Monday night, surrendered a leadoff single to David Ortiz and a one-out walk to Jonny Gomes before Drew turned on an 0-1 curveball. Drew's ninth home run of the season erased the Astros' 5-4 lead and capped yet another comeback for Boston (70-46), which erased a 5-0 deficit Tuesday night.
Ortiz recorded his second consecutive four-hit game, the first time in his career he has accomplished that feat. Gomes' two-run home run off Josh Zeid in the seventh inning allowed Boston to close to within one run.
Houston (37-76) parlayed two doubles, an RBI single by Jose Altuve and a sacrifice fly from Marc Krauss into a three-run sixth. What followed was a parade of five relievers charged with protecting a 5-2 lead. Instead, the bullpen allowed home runs No. 68 and 69, most in the majors.
Boston right-hander Junichi Tazawa (5-3) logged two perfect innings of relief in advance of Koji Uehara, who got his 11th save with a scoreless ninth.
It came as little surprise that the Red Sox presented a significant challenge to Astros rookie right-hander Jarred Cosart, whose first four starts as a major-leaguer resulted in a sub-1.00 ERA despite control woes.
Cosart opened his fifth start with more walks (12) than strikeouts (11), and Boston tested his ability to throw strikes. Cosart surrendered a pair of singles yet posted a scoreless first inning, but his leadoff walk of Gomes in the second resulted in a 1-0 deficit when Brock Holt followed with an RBI groundout three batters later.
The Astros erased a 2-0 deficit when Robbie Grossman hit a two-run homer off Red Sox right-hander Ryan Dempster in the third. Cosart kept scuffling, pitching around two base runners in the fourth and fifth before leaving after walking Gomes and Drew to open the sixth.
Boston eventually loaded the bases with one out, but Houston relievers Wesley Wright and Zeid combined to strike out the side and preserve a fourth no-decision for Cosart, who allowed 12 baserunners.
NOTES: Starting with their four-game series against the Texas Rangers kicking off Friday night, the Astros will utilize a six-man rotation for the foreseeable future. The Astros have just one off day (Aug. 22) through Sept. 11, and given the emergence of LHP Brett Oberholtzer and Cosart, Houston will continue to start that duo along with LHPs Erik Bedard and Dallas Keuchel, and RHPs Jordan Lyles and Brad Peacock. ... Red Sox 1B Mike Napoli was scheduled for a day off Wednesday, but his recent struggles at the plate made his benching timely. Napoli posted a slash line of .122/.280/.171 with 19 strikeouts in 50 plate appearances over his previous 11 games. His 33.6 strikeout rate ranked second-to-last among qualifying hitters in the American League. Napoli entered as a defensive replacement and went 0-for-1.