BOSTON -- Jose Altuve, the Little Big Man of the Houston Astros, hammered the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.
The diminutive second baseman, the major league's leading hitter, stroked four hits, including a grand slam in a six-run second inning as the Astros earned a split of their four-game series with the Red Sox with an 8-1 win.
The victory was the 52nd of the season for Houston, one more than the Astros had all last year. It was also Houston's second win in 11 all-time games at Fenway Park.
Altuve's slam, his sixth homer of the season, came after a call at second base was overturned in Houston's favor, extending the inning. Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected after the home run, for still arguing the previous call.
Altuve, who leads the major leagues with 173 hits and in multi-hit games with 53, also had three singles and finished the game hitting .339.
Center fielder Dexter Fowler (his seventh) and first baseman Jon Singleton (No. 11) also homered in support of right-hander Collin McHugh, who lasted six innings pitching in and out of trouble to raise his record to 6-9.
Right-hander Joe Kelly, making his first Fenway start after two no-decisions on the road since being traded to Boston, was shelled for all seven runs on seven hits in four innings. He walked six in falling to 2-3 overall on the season.
The Astros, getting some help when left fielder Yoenis Cespedes lost a fly ball in the sky, already had two runs home in the second when shortstop Marwin Gonzalez grounded one through the mound with runners at first and second and one out. Kelly deflected the ball and it went right to shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who stepped on second and threw to first for what appeared to be an inning-inning double play.
The Red Sox left the field, but Houston manager Bo Porter came out and said Bogaerts threw the ball before his foot came down on the base. He was clearly correct and the call was overturned. Right fielder Robbie Grossman then walked and Altuve, who single in the first, then hit his first career slam.
Farrell, apparently claiming the call wasn't reviewable because it qualified under the double play transfer rule, was then tossed by first base umpire Doug Eddings. The play didn't fall under the transfer rule that because it was a matter of Bogaerts stepping on the base.
The Red Sox wasted three hits in the first two innings, and Fowler led off the third with his homer.
Boston right fielder Daniel Nava doubled home a run in the bottom of the third, but was caught rounding second base -- something that really hurt when a walk and single followed.
Kelly has walked 13 batters in 17 innings with Boston and hasn't won in his last five starts, with the Cardinals and Red Sox. NOTES: Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia, who has been on fire at the plate, missed Sunday's game, on his 31st birthday, with flu-like symptoms. He had three hits on Saturday night, after fouling a ball off his right foot and leaving Friday night's game late. Pedroia had hit three homers on his previous seven big-league birthdays. ... LHP Brett Oberholtzer opens the Astros' three-game series against the Yankees in New York on Tuesday night, while RHP Brandon Workman hopes to end a six-game losing streak (five starts) when he opens Boston's four-game home series against the Los Angeles Angels. Workman's last outing was in relief in the 19th inning of the Aug. 9 game in Anaheim, and he gave up a home run to Albert Pujols, the only batter he faced. ... The Red Sox recalled RHP Steven Wright from Triple-A Pawtucket and designated OF Corey Brown for assignment. ... Sunday was Connecticut Day at Fenway Park. ... Actor Matthew McConaughey, a Texas native, was seated near the Astros' dugout.