Doubront carries unblemished mark into start with Astros

Venezuelan lefty Felix Doubront can remain undefeated for the season on Saturday night when he and the Boston Red Sox host the Houston Astros in the third test of a four-game series at Fenway Park.

Doubront, an 11-game winner in 29 starts last season, opened 2013 with a no- decision against Toronto before rebounding for consecutive victories against Cleveland and Oakland on April 16 and 22.

In the two wins, he's allowed just seven hits and five runs in 11 2/3 innings.

Overall, he's allowing an opposition batting average of .258, which is one point less than last season's clip and five lower than his career mark.

Doubront has never faced the Astros.

For Houston, young righty Brad Peacock faces the Red Sox for the first time in his career.

A draft choice of the Washington Nationals in 2006, Peacock reached the majors and was 2-0 in three appearances with the Nats in 2012 before he was dealt to Oakland in December and then to Houston in February.

Peacock lost his initial start with the Astros on April 5 against Oakland, then defeated Seattle with five innings of three-run ball on April 10. He's gotten no-decisions in two subsequent starts, again against the Athletics and Mariners.

He is 3-0 in four career road starts with a 2.70 earned run average.

On Friday, David Ross finished 4-for-4 with a pair of solo homers and scored three times as Boston tripped up Houston, 7-3.

Will Middlebrooks and David Ortiz also went deep, while Dustin Pedroia added three hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Red Sox, who have taken two in a row in the set and four of five overall.

Ryan Dempster (1-2) worked six innings for the win, allowing four hits and two runs while fanning a season-high 10 batters.

"He located his fastball well. He was able to get key some strike outs. He's so dependable and reliable, he's going to keep the game in check. He's done that every time he's taken the mound so far this year," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

Jose Altuve drove in two runs and Robbie Grossman the other for the Astros, losers in seven of their last 10.

Erik Bedard (0-2) was charged in defeat for eight hits and five runs in three- plus innings. The former Sox hurler did strike out five and did not issue a walk.

The Red Sox swept a three-game series in Houston when the teams last met in 2007.