Bregman gets congrats from Hinch after homer
(c) Associated Press
The Astros edged the Red Sox 3-2 at Fenway Park Friday night, claiming their thirteenth win in the last fifteen games. Alex Bregman drove in all three runs in support of Charlie Morton, who pitched 5-1/3 innings to earn his career high 14th win of the season.
Bregman singled home Derek Fisher in the third inning to get the scoring started against former Astro Doug Fister. In the fifth, Bregman cleared the Green Monster for the second night in a row, bringing in Yuli Gurriel to put the Astros up by a score of 3-0.
The Red Sox closed the gap to 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth when Mitch Moreland and Rafael Devers got the first two hits of the night off Morton. Two more hits in the sixth helped the Sox get to within a run at 3-2 and A.J. Hinch made a call to the bullpen.
Francisco Liriano replaced Morton on the mound with one out and a runner on third. Liriano got a big strikeout, fanning Andrew Benintendi with a slider. Mookie Betts was intentionally walked and Mitch Moreland drew a more conventional base on balls to fill the sacks.
Liriano gave way to Chris Devenski who got Hanley Ramirez on a grounder to short to end the threat. Devenski stayed in to record a 1-2-3 seventh, including a pair of strikeouts, notching his 25th hold of the year.
Will Harris pitched a scoreless eighth and Ken Giles silenced the Sox in the ninth to record his 34th save.
After scoring double-digit runs in each of the last four games the Astros were limited to only six hits by Fister and the Boston bullpen. But Bregman's timely hitting proved to be enough as Astros pitchers held the Red Sox to only five hits.
The win was Houston's 100th of the season, marking only the second time in franchise history the club has reached the century mark. And, while the Astros are still likely to claim the number two seed in the playoffs and host the Red Sox in the first round, they are still mathematically alive for the number one seed and, with wins in the final two games, could force the Sox to play a tie-breaker game at Yankee Stadium.
Saturday's 12:05 CDT start pits Lance McCullers Jr. against Boston lefty Drew Pomeranz. McCullers will need a strong showing to secure a spot in Houston's playoff rotation and Pomeranz will be looking to bounce back after a couple of sub-par starts in his last two outings.
- Greg Thurston