MLB: Houston 3, Boston 2

HOUSTON, June 29 (UPI) -- Pinch-hitter Mark Loretta drilled an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday to give the Houston Astros a 3-2 victory against Boston.

The utility infielder, batting for winning pitcher Doug Brocail (4-3), snapped a 2-2 tie -- created by a solo homer by Boston's Manny Ramirez in the top of seventh.


Houston's Geoff Blum and Lance Berkman had one RBI each, with Blum belting a solo homer in the second.

Closer Jose Valverde recorded his 21st save despite putting the tying run on with a walk in the top of the ninth.

Boston's other run scored on Dustin Pedroia's third inning homer.

Pedroia, Ramirez and Julio Lugo all had two hits for the Red Sox, who lost the final two games in the inter-league series and dropped out of first place in the American League East behind Tampa Bay.

The losing pitcher was David Aardsma (2-2).

Boston and the Rays begin a three-game series in Saint Petersburg Monday night.

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