Mookie Betts

Bogaerts homers twice as Sox beat Astros, pull into tie for first

Bogaerts homers twice as Sox beat Astros, pull into tie for first

HOUSTON -- David Price wasn't great on Sunday night, and he didn't have to be. The best strike Boston threw to home plate came from left field, anyway.

Xander Bogaerts went deep twice for the first multihomer game of his career and had four RBIs, Andrew Benintendi threw out a runner trying to score and the Red Sox beat the Houston Astros 6-5.

Bogaerts had just two homers entering Sunday's game. He ended an 0-for-14 skid when he connected off Joe Musgrove (4-6) to make it 1-0 with two outs in the first inning.

A two-run shot by Bogaerts in the sixth put the Red Sox up 3-2. Jackie Bradley Jr. added a two-run double later that inning.

The Astros cut the lead to 6-5 on an RBI single by Carlos Beltran with one out in the eighth inning. Jose Altuve was thrown out at home on that play by Benintendi , and then Yuli Gurriel struck out looking to end the inning and was ejected after arguing the call.

An inning later, catcher Christian Vazquez caught Houston's Derek Fisher stealing to end the game.

"Bogey offensively is the difference in this one, but our ability to throw the baseball on the defensive side is what preserved this win tonight," manager John Farrell said.

Price (2-1) got the win despite tying a season high by allowing eight hits with three runs and three walks in five-plus innings.

Price was asked to evaluate how he's pitched in the five games since coming off the disabled list on May 29.

"It's just been terrible," he said. "It's been bad. It's not me. I can throw the baseball better. That's the bottom line."

Houston pulled within 5-4 with homers from Jake Marisnick and George Springer in the sixth, but an RBI single by Bogaerts added an insurance run in the seventh.

Boston tied the New York Yankees atop the A.L. East. Craig Kimbrel allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth for his 20th save.

James Hoyt plunked Mookie Betts in the right knee with one out in the seventh before hitting Dustin Pedroia in the back with a pitch. That caused home plate umpire Greg Gibson to issue warnings to both benches as Pedroia glared and yelled at Hoyt. Both managers came onto the field as Pedroia continue to scream and pointed at the mound before calming down and heading to first base.

Pedroia left the game in the bottom of the ninth and Farrell said the second baseman was getting X-rays at a local hospital after the game.

Betts was hit by a ball on his right elbow diving back to second base later in the inning and was favoring it the rest of the game.

Carlos Correa, Marisnick and Springer each hit a solo homer for the Astros, who went 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position and lost for the fifth time in seven games.

"They took advantage of almost all of their opportunities and we struggled in a couple of those," manager A.J. Hinch said.

Marisnick ended Price's night when he launched a fastball onto the train tracks beyond left field to start Houston's sixth. He was replaced by Heath Hembree, who ended a streak of 26 straight scoreless innings by Boston's bullpen when he allowed the homer to Springer to get Houston within 5-4.

Musgrove yielded six hits and five runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Correa sent Price's first pitch of the fifth inning into the seats in left field for his 13th home run to put Houston up 2-1.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, who has been out since injuring his knee on June 1, was doing well on Sunday, a day after throwing his second bullpen session and could increase his activity in the upcoming days.

Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (pinched nerve in neck) will begin to play catch on Monday for the first time since going on the disabled list on June 5. ... RHP Lance McCullers (back soreness) will throw a bullpen Monday or Tuesday, and if that goes well he could come off the DL next weekend in Seattle. ... RHP Charlie Morton (strained back muscle) will also throw a bullpen on Monday and could begin a rehabilitation assignment soon after that. ... RHP Collin McHugh, who hasn't played all season because of an elbow injury, will go to Florida to begin training for several weeks before hopefully starting a rehabilitation assignment. ... OF Josh Reddick (concussion) will take batting practice on Monday and will likely return to the lineup Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: Hector Velazquez (1-1, 6.48 ERA) is scheduled to start for Boston in the first of three games at Kansas City on Monday. He'll make his second major league start after allowing one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in his last outing to get his first major league win.

Astros: Brad Peacock (3-1, 3.00) will start for Houston in the opener of a four-game series at Oakland on Monday. He allowed two hits and one run while striking out a season-high 10 in 4 2/3 innings in his last start.

Baseball Show podcast: What would it take to lock up Mookie Betts long term?

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Baseball Show podcast: What would it take to lock up Mookie Betts long term?

Mookie Betts reportedly turned down contract extension talks with the Red Sox. So what kind of deal would it take to lock him up long term?

The Evan Drellich, Lou Merloni and Jared Carrabis discuss the topic at the 10-minute, 30-second mark of this week's "The Baseball Show podcast."

Here are the rest of the minutes for the podcast:

0:14 - Rick Porcello struggles once again. Lou Merloni, Evan Drellich, and Jared Carrabis discuss what is wrong with last year’s AL Cy Young award winner.

5:38 - The guys talk about what the Red Sox should do with Pablo Sandoval and if John Farrell and Dave Dombrowski are not on the same page regarding the third baseman.

15:10 - Merloni, Drellich, and Carrabis discuss Tyler Thornburg being out for the season and looking back on the trade for him, which Lou calls an ‘absolute mess’.

Betts' eighth-inning homer leads Red Sox over Astros, 2-1

Betts' eighth-inning homer leads Red Sox over Astros, 2-1

HOUSTON - Mookie Betts showed off his defense and offense Friday night.

Betts nailed George Springer at the plate to end the sixth before giving the Red Sox the lead for good two innings later.

Betts hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning, sending the Boston Red Sox over the Houston Astros 2-1.

"Home run came at a big time, but I think more fun, probably the throw," Betts said. "You don't get those opportunities very much. For me to be successful that time, is definitely something I take pride in."

Betts hit his team-leading 12th homer, and third in three games. He led off with a drive into the Crawford Boxes in left field, connecting against Will Harris (2-2).

"He cuts down a run to finish the sixth, then the first pitch thrown in eighth, he gives us the lead," Boston manager John Farrell said. "Just in a small snapshot, there's Mookie's skill set on both sides of the ball. He's a dynamic player. Those throws aren't just by coincidence. The work he puts in, he throws a strike from right field at a key point in the game right there."

Houston manager A.J. Hinch said it was an aggressive send to wave Springer, who was easily tagged out at home in the sixth.

"Getting thrown out like that at that distance you're betting on a mistake," Hinch said. "It was a one-hopper bullet hit right at Betts. Betts makes a nice throw and they make the play."

Brian McCann tied it for Houston in the seventh, homering into the upper deck in right field off Drew Pomeranz.

Joe Kelly (3-0) got two outs for the win. He retired Norichika Aoki on a liner to third with runners on second and third to end the seventh.

Craig Kimbrel threw a perfect ninth for his 19th save.

Mitch Moreland gave Boston a 1-0 lead with a single in the third that drove in Betts.

Pomeranz allowed four hits and struck out four in 6 1/3 innings. He rebounded nicely after allowing six runs in 4 1/3 innings in his last start.

"I think my fastball location was a little better," Pomeranz said. "The breaking stuff was a little sharper, and I was a little more accurate with it. I think that goes a long way when I can place those where I want."

Mike Fiers allowed one run on five hits with four strikeouts in seven innings. He set down his final 10 batters.

"I was locked in all game; I felt really good. Just another game of getting ahead in the count and being the aggressor," Fiers said. "Not letting these guys get in too many hitters' counts and putting them away as early as you can and not try to go deep into the at-bat."

The right-hander continued his string of good outings, allowing two runs or less in each of his last four starts.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: INF Hanley Ramirez was out of the lineup Friday with a muscle spasm in his neck. . Moreland is playing through a fractured big toe on his left foot. . RHP Carson Smith (Tommy John) will not make his scheduled rehab start Sunday due shoulder inflammation, Farrell said.

Astros: RHP Charlie Morton (right lat strain) and RHP Collin McHugh (right elbow) each threw bullpen sessions. ... LHP Dallas Keuchel (neck discomfort) and RHP Lance McCullers (lower back discomfort) could begin playing catch soon, Hinch said. Hinch said he hopes to have them start a throwing program as early as this weekend. . OF Josh Reddick (concussion) resumed baseball activities Friday, Hinch said.

HE SAID IT

"We knew coming in here this is going to be a strong test, a strong challenge. To pitch like we did tonight in their home ballpark, that was encouraging." - Farrell on facing the Astros, who have the best record in the Majors.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-8) makes his 15th start of the season Saturday looking to break a three-game losing streak and rebound after giving up 11 runs over his last two starts.

Astros: RHP David Paulino (0-0) will make his fourth start this season Saturday looking to bounce back after being tagged for five runs in four innings in his last outing.