August 13, 2014

David Ortiz is showing no signs of slowing down. Neither is Jackie Bradley Jr. or the rest of the powerful Boston Red Sox lineup.

Bradley puts a 20-game hitting streak on the line when the hot-hitting Red Sox cap a prolific homestand Sunday against the Houston Astros.

Boston (23-14) enters the finale of this four-game series having won six of seven behind the majors' best offense. The Red Sox are hitting a scorching .370 and scored 63 runs on this seven-game stay at Fenway Park, recording at least 11 hits in each contest.

With Bradley managing just a first-inning single in five at-bats, Ortiz played the hero in Saturday's 6-5 victory. The 40-year-old slugger delivered a tying two-out RBI triple in the ninth inning before driving in the deciding run in the 11th with his 600th career double.

Ortiz joined Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds as the only players with 500 home runs and 600 doubles. He hit his 513th homer earlier to extend Boston's streak of consecutive games with a home run to 15.

"What David is doing, it really is incredible to watch daily," manager John Farrell said.

Bradley is batting .416 with six homers and 26 RBIs over the longest hit streak by a Red Sox player since Ortiz's 27-gamer spanning the 2012 and '13 seasons. Xander Bogaerts added three hits to raise his average to .417 in May.

Houston (15-23) has a couple of hot hitters as well. George Springer had a grand slam Saturday after going 3 for 5 with a homer and four RBIs in Friday's 7-6 victory, while Jose Altuve is 7 for 11 in the series and hitting .476 over his last 11 games.

The Astros, 5-13 on the road this season and 4-10 at Fenway Park since joining the AL in 2013, will try to earn a split behind Chris Devenski (0-2, 1.72 ERA). The rookie has pitched well in three starts since replacing an ineffective Scott Feldman in the rotation, allowing five runs across 17 2/3 innings.

Poor run support has kept Devenski in search of his first major league win, with Houston totaling three runs in his starts. He didn't get any while permitting two runs over a career-high 6 2/3 innings in Tuesday's 4-0 loss to Cleveland.

"He's made pitch after pitch after pitch," manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's usually had one inning in there where he wobbles just a touch. He had a fatigue at the end of the outing (Tuesday), but he leaves it all out on the field.

"I really appreciate the way he goes about it."

Devenski worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings in two relief appearances against Boston last month, holding Bradley hitless in three at-bats.

Boston supported Sean O'Sullivan (1-0, 6.43) very well in his first start since being promoted from the minors last week. The journeyman right-hander was reached for four runs and 12 hits in six innings of Tuesday's 13-5 rout of Oakland.

O'Sullivan, who went 1-7 with a 6.21 ERA in 15 starts with Philadelphia over the last two seasons, hasn't won consecutive starts since Sept. 23-28, 2010 with Kansas City.

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