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Loretta lifts Astros over former mates

Loretta lifts Astros over former mates
HOUSTON (AP) - Mark Loretta had a pinch-hit, RBI single in the eighth inning off Hideki Okajima on Sunday to lift the Houston Astros to a 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox.

MLB roundup

Sunday's action

  • Tigers complete sweep of Rox
  • Slowey hurls gem to beat Brewers
  • ChiSox complete sweep of Cubs
  • Belliard's HR in 12th wins it for Nats
  • Rays not half bad against Pirates
  • Marlins rally in 9th to beat D-backs
  • Mets salvage split in Subway Series
  • Burnett's gem sends Jays to win
  • Reds take series from Indians
  • Rookies lift Rangers over Phillies
  • Astros rally to win rubber game
  • LaRue drives in four as Cards roll
  • Angels rebound with shutout win
  • Sanchez gets win as Giants roll
  • M's complete sweep of Padres

More on MLB:

  • Ringolsby: Rockies repeat possible
  • Rosenthal: He loves this game
  • Perry: Dodger's health plan
  • Rosenberg: Could it be Cubs turn?

Photo gallery:

  • Final weekend of interleague

  • Summer action heats up

Greatest Yankee moments:

The All-Star Game (July 15, FOX) will be the last one played at Yankee Stadium. As we say goodbye to the "House," Dayn Perry busts out his list of the best moments from Yankee lore. POLL: Vote for your favorite!

Loretta, who played for Boston in 2006, batted for Doug Brocail (4-3), who earned a victory in relief for the second straight night.

Jose Valverde shut out the Red Sox in the ninth to earn his 21st save as the Astros took two of three from the Red Sox in Boston's first series in Houston.

Josh Beckett, who was born and raised in nearby Spring, Texas, gave up two runs on eight hits, but took his third no-decision in six starts.

Manny Ramirez tied the game in the seventh with a solo homer off Oscar Villareal. Dustin Pedroia hit a solo homer off Houston starter Brian Moehler and went 9-for-14 in the series. Pedroia has 24 hits in his last 45 at-bats spanning 10 games.

Okajima gave up a run in relief for the second time in three nights. Boston's bullpen had allowed just one run in its previous 13 innings before the Astros scored five on Saturday night and the game-winner on Sunday.

The Red Sox slipped one-half game behind Tampa Bay in the AL East heading into a three-game series with the Rays, starting Monday.

Geoff Blum, making a rare start, gave Houston a 1-0 lead in the second with a solo homer to right, his fifth of the season. Beckett hadn't given up a home run in four starts.

Pedroia tied it in the third with a leadoff homer to left, his fourth home run in his last 15 games.

Houston took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on Lance Berkman's RBI single. Michael Bourn reached on a fielder's choice and Hunter Pence beat out an infield hit before Berkman singled to center, his 67th RBI of the season.

Moehler hit 100 pitches for the first time this season in the sixth.

Jason Varitek drew a one-out walk and went to third on Julio Lugo's single to right. Moehler struck out Beckett on pitch No. 111 before manager Cecil Cooper replaced him with left-hander Wesley Wright. Moehler tipped his cap to the cheering crowd as he walked to the dugout.

Lugo stole second and Wright walked Jacoby Ellsbury to load the bases. Pedroia was next, but Wright struck him out on three pitches, prompting a fist pump from catcher Humberto Quintero as the Astros came off the field.

Wright struck out J.D. Drew in the seventh, but Cooper brought in the right-handed Villareal to face Ramirez. The Boston slugger hammered a 1-2 pitch into the Astros bullpen, his 16th home run of the season.

Mike Lowell beat out an infield hit and Kevin Youkilis walked. Brocail relieved Villareal and got two outs to preserve the 2-2 tie.

David Aardsma (2-2) relieved Beckett in the eighth and Tejada singled with one out.

Tejada went to second on a wild pitch and Boston manager Terry Francona brought in Okajima. He got Blum to ground out, but Loretta singled up the middle, his fourth RBI of the series after a three-run homer in Saturday's game.


Ramirez has 506 career homers. ... Blum started at second base for the second time this season. ... Boston had won its last nine interleague series since losing two of three to the Cubs in June 2005. ... Beckett went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts at the plate. Boston's pitchers went 0-for-25 with 18 strikeouts in interleague play.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: June 29, 2008

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