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Houston Astros starting pitcher David Paulino (63) delivers a pitch during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Saturday, June 17, 2017. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

Astros sail to 7-1 win over Red Sox behind Paulino

HOUSTON -- David Paulino produced the best start of his young career and was backed by an aggressive offense in the Houston Astros' 7-1 win over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.
 
Paulino (1-0) posted his first career victory by working a career-long six innings, allowing three hits and one run with four strikeouts. The lone blemish came in the fifth inning when Boston designated hitter and Houston native Chris Young cranked a leadoff home run to left field.

Paulino responded by retiring the next three batters in order before working around a leadoff single by Mookie Betts in the sixth with an inning-ending double play off the bat of Xander Bogaerts.

While Paulino retired the side in order only twice, in the second and third innings, he allowed only one baserunner to reach scoring position, and that came via Young and his home run trot.

George Springer, Jose Altuve and Carlos Beltran had multi-hit games for the Astros (46-23), with Springer and Altuve each finishing 2-for-4. Altuve scored twice and added two RBIs, and Beltran homered, doubled and had three RBIs.

Boston (38-30) was undone by another poor start from right-hander Rick Porcello (3-9).

The Astros were quick to make Porcello uncomfortable with the first four batters reaching base in the first inning.

Springer and Altuve reached via doubles, with Springer scoring on the Altuve extra-base hit to give Houston the lead. After a Carlos Correa walk loaded the bases, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran delivered quality, veteran at-bats, each driving a Porcello offering to deep center field for run-scoring sacrifice flies.

Houston took a less manufactured approach to scoring three more runs in the third, with Altuve and Beltran both homering to stretch the lead to 6-0. Altuve cranked his 10th homer 428 feet to left-center field and Beltran hit his ninth to right.

Porcello stabilized and worked six innings, but the damage was done. He allowed seven runs and 10 hits, six for extra bases, and one walk with three strikeouts.

NOTES: Astros RHP Lance McCullers will accompany the club on its upcoming seven-game trip through Oakland and Seattle with the possibility that he could start the series finale against the Athletics on Thursday. McCullers, on the 10-day disabled list since June 9 with lower back discomfort, must throw a bullpen without issue before a decision is rendered regarding reinstatement. ... Red Sox 3B Pablo Sandoval sat for a second consecutive game, with manager John Ferrell acknowledging that Sandoval is enduring an adjustment period to the knee brace he has worn since being reinstated from the disabled list on May 30. Sandoval missed 31 games with a right knee sprain. ... Astros RHP Charlie Morton is nearing a return from the 10-day disabled list and will travel with the club to Oakland to be in relative proximity to Triple-A Fresno, where he would make his first rehab start. He has been sidelined since May 25 with a right lat strain.


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