Lackey sharp in return as Red Sox complete sweep of Astros

Stephen Drew and David Ortiz each drove in a pair of runs while John Lackey pitched six strong innings for the Boston Red Sox, who completed a four-game sweep of the Houston Astros with a 6-1 win at Fenway Park.

Lackey (1-1), activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game, needed just 81 pitches to get through six innings in his second outing of the season. He allowed a run and five hits to go with four strikeouts as Boston completed its third series sweep of the season and retained the best record in the major leagues.

"He's in a good place right now, and there's no physical issues today," Boston manager John Farrell said of Lackey. "He came out of today fine. But he does give us a seasoned veteran and a very good pitcher in that spot in the rotation."

Daniel Nava and Matt Carp each had two hits for the Sox. Nava also scored three runs and ended the game with a diving catch out in right field.

Bud Norris (3-3) recorded the loss for Houston after surrendering five runs -- three earned -- on nine hits in six innings of work.

Both pitchers struggled with their command early on, walking two batters in the opening inning. Ronny Cedeno and Ortiz poked RBI singles for their respective teams, and the score was 1-1 after the first.

Cedeno finished 2-for-4 for Houston.

Boston put two across in the fourth inning on a Drew triple. Carp and Jarrod Saltalamacchia each singled, putting runners on the corners for Drew, who ripped a 1-2 offering deep to right field for his second triple of the year.

After Lackey retired the Astros in order in the top of the fifth, the Red Sox gave him two more insurance runs in the bottom half. Nava reached and advanced to second base on a Marwin Gonzalez error to lead off the frame. Dustin Pedroia then doubled him home. Norris retired the next two batters he faced before Carp doubled to center, scoring Pedroia.

Ortiz' RBI double with one gone in the seventh rounded out the scoring.

"I know we're struggling right now, but we have to make some adjustments," Houston outfielder Fernando Martinez admitted. "We'll be fine."

Game Notes

Ortiz has now hit safely in a career-high 20 straight games dating back to last season ... The Red Sox have 11 home wins this season, most in the American League ... Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury was caught stealing for the first time this year. Ellsbury leads the majors with 11 stolen bases ... Houston outfielder Robbie Grossman fell to 2-for-22 on the season and has failed to record a hit in 19 straight plate appearances.