Ryan Lavarnway the catcher had a nightmarish start to his night but Ryan Lavarnway the hitter backed by most of the Red Sox lineup banished the bad memories in a 15-10 rout over the hapless Astros last night at Minute Maid Park. Lavarnway’s two-out two-run double in the five-run fifth inning gave the Sox their first lead at 8-7 a margin they inflated to a comfortable victory for their 69th of the season tying their win total from last season when such a comeback like last night’s would have been improbable. “I hope we pass last year” in wins quipped Sox manager John Farrell who was not here last season when the team had as little fight as it had focus. The renewed zeal and execution were on full display early after the Sox fell into a 5-0 hole. The first three runs came in the first inning when first-time big league starter Steven Wright’s knuckleball was out of control and Lavarnway was charged with four passed balls tying a major league record. “The way things started out we needed every run that we could put on the board and they didn’t quit they kept coming back at us” said Farrell. “We get down 5-0 chip away. Obviously Jacoby (Ellsbury) with a couple home runs a big night but in that fifth inning the two-out double by Lavarnway puts us on top and in front to stay.” Lavarnway was thrilled to be part of it. “That was awesome. Nobody ever gave up in that game we never quit” said Lavarnway who went 1-for-5 on the night. “We know what we have the capabilities to do offensively and we just grinded it out today.” Having caught Wright eight times this season in Pawtucket Lavarnway chalked up the wild night from Wright to his first experience indoors where knuckleballs tend to get extra jumpy. “I don’t think that’s how anybody would have drawn it up but that’s sometimes how it goes with knuckleballers. It’s feast or famine and today wasn’t his day” said Lavarnway. Besides Ellsbury’s two home runs Jonny Gomes’ sixth-inning pinch-hit three-run home run keyed that five-run frame. It was Gomes’ fourth pinch-hit homer of the season the most by a Red Sox player since Del Wilber hit four in 1953. It is one shy of Joe Cronin’s team record set in 1943.
Lavarnway turns rough night around as Red Sox romp 15-10 over Astros
Boston Herald | Aug 7