Despite allowing three runs - one earned - and eight hits, Rupe kept his team in the game. He overcame two errors by his teammates in the fourth inning that turned a lead into a 2-1 deficit and gave up a solo homer to
in the fifth en route to his first win since May 28, 2002 as a member of the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Rupe snapped a personal five-game winning streak in place of Fossum, who was tagged for 26 earned runs and 24 hits in 17 1/3 innings before landing on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his pitching shoulder.
Rupe, who underwent knee surgery during last season's All-Star break, was claimed off waivers on November 27 and was 4-1 in nine appearances for Class AAA Pawtucket. He walked just five in the minors and defeated his hometown team for the win.
"Honestly, it was pretty fast of a day ... to get called up here for Boston and beat the Astros, which I grew up (following) my whole life in Houston," Rupe said. "It's a pretty big blessing. If someone would have said to me that I would have taken Fossum's spot because he was hurt, I would have said no 100 times. I played with him, I am a big fan of him."
Rupe displayed excellent control in this one, striking out four without a walk. He pitched through rainy conditions that delayed the start of the game for 85 minutes.
"It's been that same way in Pawtucket, too, it's been awful," Rupe said of the weather. "I think we have seen the sun twice down there, so I have been used to it all year."
was outstanding there tonight," Boston manager Grady Little said. "He came in and did a job for this ballclub that we really needed done tonight. And we could not have asked for any better effort than he gave us out there."
Little did not indicate if Rupe earned another start but said the 29-year-old righthander has a spot on the team.
"He certainly earned his way onto this ballclub in whatever capacity it is," Little said.
After Ensberg homered, Damon put the
ahead for good with his sixth home run, a shot off reliever
(4-2) that barely cleared the fence in right field.
Damon's first homer in 129 at-bats since May 7 drew a brief protest from Williams after it hit the top of the wall and bounced back onto the field. Damon hustled into third, but first base umpire Terry Craft gave the home run signal.
"That was pretty much the same pitch I missed last night," said Damon, who was 1-for-8 and made the final out in the 13th inning of Thursday's 8-7 loss to St. Louis. "I just missed that last night, but tonight I got it and it helped put another run on the board."
allowed one hit in two scoreless innings and
retired the side in order the ninth for his seventh save in as many chances.
Rupe was recalled from Class AAA to replace Fossum, a college teammate at Texas A&M. The Houston native gave up a hit in every inning but the second. Two-out errors by shortstop
and right fielder
could have made the fourth worse.
Timlin gave up a leadoff single to
in the seventh, then retired Ensberg and
before third baseman
misplayed Kent's grounder for Boston's third error of the game. But Timlin retired
on a grounder and retired the side in the eighth.
Lyon needed just nine pitches to finish Boston's 12th victory in 19 one-run games.
Besides facing the team he guided to two playoff appearances from 1997-2001, Williams also had to endure an ineffective outing by starter
. Although he allowed just three runs and four hits in three-plus innings, Johnson issued a career-high eight walks.
"It seemed like I hit my spots best once I got the bases loaded, which is ridiculous," Johnson said. "I should have been doing that with nobody on or men on first. I should have never let it get to that point. I don't know what the reason was for that. Unfortunately, you can't sit there and walk eight guys in a game and continue to stay in it."
"We walked about 10 guys," Ausmus added. "We were very sloppy in terms of our pitching. But we were able to get out of some jams with men on. I don't think it was a letdown, we just played two pretty good teams the past two days."
failed to capitalize, stranding 11 runners to bring their total to 29 in the last two games.
Boston took its first lead in the third. Garciaparra led off with a single, stole second and
's groundout advanced the runners,
walked and Mueller lofted a sacrifice fly.
After Houston scored a pair of unearned runs, Ortiz singled in Damon and Garciaparra. Bagwell was 1-for-4 and has gone a career-high 139 at-bats without a home run. Berkman was 0-for-4, ending his 18-game hitting streak.