BOSTON -- A matchup of former American League Cy Young Award winners went heavily in favor of David Price, who helped the Red Sox to an 11-1 victory over the Astros on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Fenway Park.
Seeing Dallas Keuchel (2-5, 5.58 ERA) on the hill for Houston didn't intimidate the Red Sox, who won their fifth game in a row and in the process achieved a series of historic offensive feats.
• The Red Sox, who scored 40 runs in a just-completed three-game sweep of the A's, became the Majors' first team to score double digits in four straight games since Boston did so in an August 2007 four-game set with the White Sox in Chicago. David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia are the two holdovers from that team.
• The Sox have scored 11 or more runs in four straight games for the first time since 1950.
• Boston became the first team to score at least 11 runs and record at least 14 hits in four consecutive games since the 1930 Philadelphia A's, who were led to a World Series title by Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Cochrane and Al Simmons.
• For the first time in Fenway Park history, the Sox have recorded at least eight runs and at least 12 hits in six consecutive home games.
"It's unbelievable," said Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. "I don't think I've ever seen anything like this, to be honest. I wish it could continue, but the chances of that continuing, 10 runs every game, is pretty tough. Hopefully it continues. It's unbelievable to be part of right now."
The Red Sox have won 14 of 18 and are percentage points behind the Orioles for first place in the American League East.
While Keuchel was charged with eight runs on 10 hits over six innings, Price excelled. Boston's ace, who was coming off two tough outings against the Yankees, rebounded with a strong performance, striking out 12 over 6 2/3 innings. The lefty scattered six hits and allowed one run while walking one and is now 5-1 with a 6.00 ERA.
"I knew I needed to throw the ball well," said Price. "But I didn't view this start any different than pitching against the Yankees at home or pitching against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. I don't view any start any bigger than any other start. I want to attack it the same way every time and be ready."
Bogaerts and Mookie Betts homered for the Red Sox. For the second time in as many games, all nine Boston starters had at least one hit. Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his career-long hitting streak to 18 games with a pair of singles, tying Kansas City's Eric Hosmer for the longest streak in the Major Leagues this season. Hanley Ramirez went 3-for-3, scoring two runs and driving in another.
"Their offense is clicking right now, specifically, and when Dallas gave them any pitch to hit, whether they fought off a couple of pitches or had a couple of infield hits, whether they hit the ball hard off the Monster, we couldn't stop them from scoring most innings," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bogaerts provides big swing early: Bogaerts helped the Red Sox continue a recent trend that the club has enjoyed -- playing with a lead. With one out in the first, Bogaerts golfed a 1-2 slider from Keuchel over the Green Monster to give Boston a 2-0 lead. Astros catcher Erik Kratz had his glove contorted down to the ground to catch the pitch, but Bogaerts belted it first.
"Well, Bogey jump-starts us in the first," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He went down and got a good breaking ball from Keuchel, and once that happened, we were again putting up quality at-bats throughout the course of the night. We were balanced up and down the lineup."
Keuchel rocked: The eight runs allowed by Keuchel, who threw a season-high 114 pitches, were one shy of the career-high nine he allowed last September in a start against the Rangers. Since the start of last season, Keuchel is 6-12 with a 4.52 ERA in 20 road starts, and he's 0-4 with a 7.98 ERA in his last five starts overall.
"It's just command," Keuchel said. "For a few innings, it was pretty good. I think I try to be too perfect on a lot of pitches, and that's not the way you go about it. You work on the plate until you work off and expand, and sometimes I try to be too fine. That works against me a lot more than it helps me. I'll get back to the drawing board, but I've been feeling good, man. It's going to be there, and when it does, we'll take off." More >
Price's mechanical adjustments pay off: Price was confident that fixing a flaw in his delivery after his last start would help the ace left-hander turn around his season. At least for one night, that seemed to work. Price kept his hands higher during his leg kick and was able to generate some of the power he had previously been missing. Pedroia pointed out the adjustment after watching some old video of Price earlier this week.
"I allowed myself to get into my power position," said Price. "That's something I've worked on the last four days leading up to this start. That was a big key for me, and it helped out a lot." More >
WHAT'S NEXT Astros: Right-hander Lance McCullers will be making his season debut when he starts Friday's 6:10 p.m. CT game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. McCullers, who went 6-7 with a 3.22 ERA in 22 starts as a rookie last year, has overcome the right shoulder discomfort that cost him all of Spring Training and the early part of this season.
Red Sox: Coming off the best performance of his career, a complete-game three-hitter against the Yankees, knuckleballer Steven Wright will try to continue his early-season roll against Houston on Friday.