Xander Bogaerts’ hits scored Mookie Betts in consecutive at-bats, and the Boston Red Sox averted a series sweep at the hands of the red-hot Houston Astros with a 4-3 win on Sunday at Fenway Park.
Bogaerts delivered the game-winning hit with two outs off Astros left-hander Framber Valdez (1-2) in the seventh inning, scorching a double to centre field that scored Betts from first base.
The fleet-footed Betts had replaced rookie second baseman Michael Chavis on base when Houston botched a pop fly off Betts’ bat, with Carlos Correa recording a force out on Chavis after fielding a throw from first baseman Tyler White and holding the bag despite stretching for the ball.
Bogaerts, Betts and Boston benefited from another misplay by the Astros in the fifth when second baseman Yuli Gurriel failed to catch a Bogaerts pop fly that ultimately dropped in centre.
Betts scored the game-tying run and capped a two-out rally against Astros starter Wade Miley, who surrendered a solo home run to Chavis, his eighth on the season, that enabled Boston to close to within 3-2. Betts followed Chavis’ 420-foot blast to left with a double.
The Astros’ defense failed Miley in the first when an Alex Bregman error set the table for J.D. Martinez to produce an RBI groundout that scored Betts, who finished 3-for-4.
Houston, which had its 10-game winning streak snapped, responded immediately against Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale. Josh Reddick recorded the first of his two doubles off Sale with two outs in the second inning, pushing Gurriel, who worked a leadoff walk, to third base.
Gurriel scored on a Sale wild pitch with George Springer at the plate. An inning later, the Astros grabbed the lead.
Shortstop Carlos Correa crushed a two-run homer to straightaway center in the third, scoring Alex Bregman and providing the Astros with a 3-1 edge. The Astros worked four hits and five walks off Sale over 5? innings but Sale also recorded 10 strikeouts. The Astros later hit into a pair of double plays, the first coming off the bat of Jake Marisnick with the bases loaded in the sixth. Marcus Walden (6-0) earned the win with 1? scoreless innings of relief. Brandon Workman notched his first save of the season for the Red Sox with a scoreless ninth. Reddick finished 2-for-2 with two walks for the Astros, who lost Springer to lower back stiffness in the fifth.
Ryu shines again as Dodgers defeat Reds
Hyun-Jin Ryu threw seven shutout innings and the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers won the finale of a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds 8-3 on Sunday afternoon.
Ryu (6-1) has not allowed a run in the past 31 innings. He gave up five hits against the Reds, struck out five and walked one, lowering his ERA to a major league leading 1.52.
Alex Verdugo had two hits and three RBIs, Cody Bellinger and Russell Martin homered, and Joc Pederson scored three runs for the Dodgers. Reds starter Tanner Roark (3-3) went five innings, allowing two runs and two hits. He struck out seven and walked three.
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