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Astros top Red Sox in shortened split-squad game

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Jon Lester struck out seven over 5 1-3 innings, but the Houston Astros scored seven runs off Boston's bullpen in a 10-7 victory over the Red Sox in a split-squad game Sunday that was called after eight innings because of rain.

Boston's other split-squad game in Dunedin against the Toronto Blue Jays was rained out, and Houston's split-squad game against the News York Mets in Kissimmee was also called because of rain.

Lester gave up three runs on five hits and did not walk a batter in his fourth start of the spring.

"I thought (Lester) had good power," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "I thought he threw a lot of good pitches."

Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, who had not given up a run this spring in six innings, allowed six runs — five earned — in 1-3 inning on six hits and a walk. Papelbon said he has been dealing with the effects of a migraine.

"He had a migraine today," Francona said. "He wanted to get his work in and you could tell the whole inning he wasn't himself. The good news is he got his work in. The flip side of that is he didn't fare very well and we didn't make a couple of plays. That didn't help. But I think he had a tough day physically."

Astros starter Bud Norris went 1 2-3 innings, giving up five runs on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts.

"The biggest thing was to get Bud back on the mound and to get his pitches in," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "I wish he didn't have to throw 36 pitches in the second inning, but at the same time I was very happy to have him back on the mound and getting his pitches in.

"He didn't eat dinner last night because his stomach was bothering him, so he's weak. He did well."

Jacoby Ellsbury went 3 for 4, and Dustin Pedroia had four RBI, including a three-run homer, his first of the spring for Boston. Mike Cameron went 2 or 2 with a two-run homer and Jason Varitek was 2 for 3.

Kaz Matsui hit a two-run home run for Houston, and Chris Johnson, the son of Red Sox first base coach Ron Johnson, went 2 for 3 with a solo home run and three RBI.

NOTES: Red Sox RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka got his first game activity of the spring, pitching in an instrasquad game against Boston minor leaguers. Slowed by back and neck ailments this spring, Matsuzaka is scheduled to appear in his first Grapefruit League game Thursday against the Marlins. ... Houston OF Jason Bourgeois left the game with a left hamstring strain in the top of the third. Bourgeois reached first base safely on an error by Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, who fielded Bourgeois' grounder then was charged with an error as he attempted a shovel pass to Lester covering first.