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JBJ's RBI in 12th lifts Red Sox in Houston

April 25, 2016

HOUSTON -- Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in Hanley Ramirez with the go-ahead run in the 12th inning with a bases-loaded single to right field off Ken Giles, sending the Red Sox to a 7-5 win over the Astros in a five-plus-hour Sunday night tilt at Minute Maid Park."Had a good

HOUSTON -- Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in Hanley Ramirez with the go-ahead run in the 12th inning with a bases-loaded single to right field off Ken Giles, sending the Red Sox to a 7-5 win over the Astros in a five-plus-hour Sunday night tilt at Minute Maid Park.
"Had a good look at a pitch I could handle and was just trying to get something to the outfield," Bradley said. "Put a good swing on it … and we were able to get a big win. Makes for a lot easier flight [to Atlanta]."
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Added Giles, "I don't know what I can do. I put everything on the line, made good pitches, got ground balls. Things aren't going my way right now."
The Astros roared back from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game, pulling even on Colby Rasmus' dramatic two-out, two-run home run in the ninth inning off Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel. Rasmus' tiebreaking grand slam broke open the game for the Astros on Saturday.
"I wouldn't say it was a bad pitch, but it's a bad pitch to him," Kimbrel said of the delivery to Rasmus. "I went to my best fastball, and it was his best swing. He put it over the fence."
Astros starting pitcher Scott Feldman allowed three of the first four batters he faced in the first inning to score, staking the Red Sox to a 3-0 lead. Then in the third, back-to-back doubles by Ryan Hanigan and Bradley Jr. pushed the lead to 5-1, but the Red Sox were held scoreless for the next eight innings.
"This is a tough loss because of how we did battle back with the big home runs from Rasmus," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I think both sides were in position to score even more runs than what were scored, and we lost the battle at the end. They did more than we did. It's a bitter pill to swallow because you lose a game like this, but we'll pick up the pieces. We showed a lot of character. We showed a lot of fight."

Rasmus to the rescue: With the Astros down to their final out in the ninth and with fans chanting his name -- "Colby! Colby!" -- Rasmus came through with his second clutch home run in as many nights. The hot-hitting Rasmus leads the team in home runs (seven) and RBIs (18) and continues to flourish in his second season in Houston.
"Really, I was trying to hit an oppo home run," Rasmus said. "That was what my mindset was, trying to look for that fastball out over and lift it to left, and thankfully I was able to get a hold of that one." More >

Hanigan, again: Bradley may have earned the go-ahead hit, but he had some help ahead of him. With two on and one out, Hanigan put together a ridiculous 13-pitch at-bat, fouling off eight pitches before drawing a crucial walk off Giles. Even with a 99-mph fastball and a nasty slider staring him down, the Red Sox catcher sent foul balls careening to every part of the park, ensuring ample opportunity for Bradley to study the hard-throwing righty before his game-winning knock.
"He's the real MVP," Bradley said of Hanigan. "He wore [Giles] down a little bit and really took the focus off of me. He was able to battle, grind and set me up."

Marwin's solo act: Astros third baseman Marwin Gonzalez extended his peculiar Major League record in the second inning when he cranked his first home run of the season, a solo shot. It was the 25th homer of Gonzalez's career, and all 25 have been solo shots. He has more consecutive homers with the bases empty to start a career than any player in Major League history. More >

Leatherwork: On a night when Astros littered the basepaths, the Red Sox needed outs any way they could get them. The corner infielders obliged, nabbing a couple of foul balls with little room to spare. Third baseman Travis Shaw's first-inning grab at the wall stranded two men on base after Boston jumped out to its early lead. Then in the fourth, converted first baseman Ramirez leaned over the fence in foul territory to record Matt Barnes' first out after replacing Owens.
"Our guys played hard out there. … You go until it hits the ground, and hopefully it doesn't hit the seats," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

"[The fastball to Rasmus] was almost the same pitch that Chris Davis got him on back on Opening Day in Fenway. Still, that's a situation we have full trust in Craig, but it didn't get done tonight." -- Farrell, on Kimbrel's blown save
"We ran into a rough 13-pitch at-bat with Hanigan. That's the game. The at-bat and ultimately the following at-bats were the game." -- Hinch, on the Red Sox's 12th-inning rally
George Springer is the first Astros outfielder to have two assists in a game since Rasmus last July 26.

Red Sox: The Red Sox head to Atlanta for the first meeting of a four-game split-venue series with the Braves on Monday night at 7:05 ET. Rick Porcello gets the ball for Boston, which has won all three games the righty has started this year.
Astros:Doug Fister, who began his career in Seattle, returns to Safeco Field and gets the start for the Astros when they meet the Mariners at 9:10 p.m. CT on Monday. Fister (1-2, 5.94 ERA) is coming off his best outing with the Astros, allowing two runs in six innings against Texas.
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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Chris Abshire is a contributor for and covered the Red Sox on Sunday.