Bogaerts has 4 RBI night for Sox
Xander Bogaerts blasted two home runs to lead the Red Sox past the Astros Sunday night at Minute Maid Park. Boston's shortstop had a solo shot in the first inning and a 2-run bomb in the sixth, turning Houston starter Joe Musgrove into the losing pitcher in a 6-5 game.
Brian McCann's RBI single in the bottom of the first tied the score at one, and Carlos Correa gave the Astros a brief 2-1 lead with a home run in the fifth.
But the top of the sixth proved to be the big inning of the night. Bogaerts put the Red Sox ahead with a shot to left that came on the heels of a walk to Dustin Pedroia. Musgrove then surrendered a 2-out single to Hanley Ramirez and walked Andrew Benintendi before James Hoyt was brought on in relief.
Hoyt failed to get the job done, surrendering a 2-run double to Jackie Bradley Jr. before fanning Josh Rutledge to end the inning.
Now trailing 5-2, the Astros made some serious noise in the bottom of the frame. Jake Marisnick led off the inning with a long home run to leftfield, knocking Boston starter David Price out of the game. Reliever Heath Hembree was greeted by George Springer with a towering blast to left-center and, suddenly, the Astros were back to within a run.
Hoyt ran into more trouble in the seventh, plunking back-to-back batters to draw a warning from home plate umpire Greg Gibson and get the hook from A.J. Hinch. Chris Devenski came on in relief but a single by Bogaerts scored Mookie Betts from second to extend Boston's lead.
Sox relievers walked the bases loaded with one out in the eighth and a Carlos Beltran's single to right scored a run. But Benintendi's throw from the outfield cut down Jose Altuve at the plate with what would have been the tying run.
Gibson then called Yuli Gurriel out on strikes on a couple of pitches that appeared to be off the plate inside. The Astros first-baseman displayed his displeasure by throwing then kiicking his batting helmet, earning an early ejection from the contest.
Strikeout machine Craig Kimbrel came calling for the Red Sox in the bottom of the ninth. Boston's closer fanned Alex Bregman to start the frame but Astros rookie Derek Fisher had no idea Kimbrel was basically unhitable. Fisher slapped a single to center and drew several throws to first base during Norichika Aoki's at-bat that ended with a line drive to Benintendi in leftfield.
A game that lasted more than four hours would come to an inauspicious end for the Astros when Fisher would be thrown out attempting to steal second with George Springer at the plate. The 1-run loss dropped the Astros to 3-6 for the homestand and gave the Red Sox a 2-1 series win.
The Astros now head back out on the road with seven games in Oakland and Seattle in the upcoming week. Brad Peacock takes the mound against his former team Monday night when the Astros get the trip started against rookie right-hander Daniel Gossett and the Athletics.
- Greg Thurston