Red Sox

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.

Yawkey Way renaming approved unanimously

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File Photo

Yawkey Way renaming approved unanimously

The City of Boston's Public Improvement Commission unanimously approved the petition to rename Yawkey Way Thursday. 

The street on which Fenway Park is located had been named after late Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey in 1977. His history of racism led current owner John Henry to say he was in favor of the street being renamed. 

The street will be renamed Jersey Street, which was the street's name prior to its 1977 renaming.  

Mookie Betts hits 2 HRs to power Red Sox to 4-3 win over Blue Jays

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

Mookie Betts hits 2 HRs to power Red Sox to 4-3 win over Blue Jays

TORONTO -- After six home runs in his last seven games, it seems Mookie Betts' isn't impressing his teammates anymore.

"We don't care about Mookie, we care about the Bruins," Hanley Ramirez joked in the locker room after Betts' latest offensive outburst helped the Boston Red Sox snap their season-high three-game losing streak with a 4-3 over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

Betts homered twice and drove in three runs as the Red Sox improved to 6-1 in one-run games and got their 18th win of the season, tying the franchise record for victories before May 1.

While the Red Sox outfielder has reached base in each of his last 19 games against the Blue Jays, he said he feels he is starting to tap into the power side of his game.

"I think so. A lot of learning with the new hitting [coaches], and with [new teammate] J.D. [Martinez], just putting things together," he said. "Actually learning how to use my strength versus going off ability."

Betts got the Red Sox on the scoreboard with leadoff homer in the first -- his third such shot of the season and 14th of his career --over the left-field fence. He then put the Red Sox in front for good in the seventh, taking reliever Danny Barnes (1-1) deep over the right-field wall for his eighth homer of the season, a two-run shot that also drove in Brock Holt.

Alex Cora said it is games like this that has Betts keeping the very best of company in the major leagues.

"They're special," the Red Sox manager said. "The Trouts, the Altuves, the more at-bats they get the better you feel about it,"

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez (3-0) gave up three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, throwing a season-high 106 pitches.

One night after giving up a walk-off home run to Curtis Granderson, closer Craig Kimbrel worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his sixth save of the season.

Though Boston has now won all of Rodriguez's four starts this season, after the recent losing skid, the left-hander was more than happy to give credit to the guy who jump-started the offense.

"We needed something like that, somebody to get us in front and do it like he did it today," he said.

However, Yangervis Solarte wasn't handing out much credit after the game. The third baseman's sixth home run of the season into the second deck of left field in the sixth inning gave Toronto its only lead of the game at 3-2.

"I think [Rodriguez] got lucky a couple of times and we didn't take advantage of it," he said. "I think we made the adjustment a little bit. But I think he got lucky more than us getting beat."

Aaron Sanchez lasted six innings for the Blue Jays, giving up just three hits and two runs, while striking out a season-high eight.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts might be in the Boston lineup Friday, but lost his chance for another rehab appearance with Triple-A Pawtucket's game rained out on Wednesday and the team off Thursday. Manager Alex Cora said Bogaerts would visit the doctor before making a determination on his availability. He has been out since fracturing his ankle on April 8.

Blue Jays: 3B Josh Donaldson should be ready to begin a rehab assignment later this week, according to manager John Gibbons. The former AL MVP has been out since April 10 with right shoulder inflammation. ... SS Troy Tulowitzki has been cleared to begin light baseball activities, according to a team spokesperson. Tulowitzki, currently on the 60-day DL after having bone spurs removed from both feet during spring training, will be monitored and re-evaluated after four weeks.

OUTRIGHT THIEVERY

With steals of both second and third base in the seventh inning by Andrew Benitendi, the Red Sox have now converted 20 of their last 20 stolen-base attempts against Toronto.

NOT O-K?

The Red Sox struck out 10 times and has now done so in each of their last four games, after reaching that mark just two in their first 19 contests.

HIGHLIGHT REEL

Just missing leading off the bottom of the first with a home run, Steve Pearce instead decided to make a play for second as the ball caromed off the left-field wall. But with left fielder Benitendi making a good, one-hop throw to second, only a nifty hook slide around the tag of Eduardo Nunez prevented the out.

A FOUR-GONE CONCLUSION?

Despite posting a 13-0 record when plating four or more runs, the Blue Jays dropped to 1-9 when scoring less than four.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (1-1, 1.86) takes the mound for the series finale looking to improve on his 4-1 record with a 0.96 ERA in seven appearances in Toronto.

Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (2-1, 5.32) is looking for his first win against the Red Sox since June 5, 2016, after going 0-1 against them in four starts last season.

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