David Ortiz went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Houston Astros, 7-2, on Thursday in the first of a four-game set.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in two runs, while Mike Carp, Will Middlebrooks and Dustin Pedroia had an RBI apiece for the Red Sox. Starter Clay Buchholz (5-0) had 10 strikeouts and allowed two runs on six hits and two walks in 7 2/3 innings.
Astros starter Philip Humber (0-5) was battered, giving up seven runs on 10 hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings. Humber was coming off allowing eight runs in just one-third of an inning against the Indians on Saturday.
Boston scored four runs in the first. A single by Pedroia plated Daniel Nava, who drew a walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. After Pedroia stole second, Ortiz hit a liner to right, scoring Pedroia, and reached second on a throwing error by Rick Ankiel. Two batters later, Carp doubled in Ortiz, and Saltalamacchia brought Carp home with a single.
Chris Carter doubled to lead off the second, followed by a single by Fernando Martinez. Matt Dominguez grounded into a double play but Carter was able to reach home.
Jason Castro drove in a run for Houston with a two-out single in the third.
Ortiz homered to leadoff the bottom of the inning.
"It's remarkable the timing that he's displayed, particularly after the layoff that he's had," Boston manager John Farrell said. "I think even guys in the dugout are marveling at what he's been able to do, as far as not only contact but driving the baseball."
Two innings later, Saltalamacchia hit a line drive to center, scoring Ortiz. Middlebrooks followed that with a double to left, plating Carp.
"It's definitely not fun," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "It's hard when you fall behind early in a game against one of the better pitchers in our league. You're on the road, and you're fighting an up hill battle."
Ortiz is 11-for-20 since being activated from the DL on Saturday ... Boston has won eight of its 10 all-time meetings with Houston ... This is the Astros' second time in franchise history that they are playing a series at Fenway Park. The last time was a three-game series on June 13-15, 2003, in which they were swept ... The Red Sox have won all seven of their series- opening contests this season for the first time since 1917.