The Red Sox played a highly entertaining game Sunday night, taking a big lead and then squandering it, before ultimately securing a win over a tough team. In the end, Boston beat the Astros 6-5 to win the series 2-games-to-1.
With the Yankees tailspin (six straight losses), the Red Sox are now tied for first in the American League East.
Fans who have been understandably concerned that the Sox haven’t lived up to their potential so far this season can take some comfort from this series against the best team in baseball.
David Price allowed eight hits but just three runs Sunday, though it took him 107 pitches to get through a little more than 5.0 IP. It was enough, however, for him to earn the win. Up 5-2 after the Sox scored four runs in the top of the sixth, Manager John Farrell apparently thought it safe for Price to return to the mound, but Price promptly coughed up a towering, 454-foot solo home run to Jake Marisnick.
Heath Hembree entered the game and immediately allowed another towering shot, this one measured at 406-feet, to George Springer. It was the sixth time this season The Mighty Houstons have gone back-to-back. Hembree got through the inning without further damage and then the cavalcade of Boston relievers (Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, Robby Scott) went to work, wriggling in and out of trouble but getting to the ninth with a one-run lead for Craig Kimbel to protect.
Kimbrel earned his 20th save of the season, though the game ended when Christian Vazquez accurately gunned down Derek Fisher attempting an oddball, two-out steal with home run hitter Springer at the plate.
Boston’s bullpen has kept the Sox undefeated this season (28-0) when the team leads after seven innings.
Bogaerts Powers Up
Red Sox offense was rejuvenated Sunday by the Xander Bogaerts, who escaped an 0-for-14 slump with a home run in the first inning and another in the sixth. It was his first career multi-home run game. A seventh inning single drove in two more Boston runs for a four-RBI night.
After striking out twice earlier in the game, Boston got timely hitting from Jackie Bradley, who drove in two with a two-out double that plated Hanley Ramirez and Andrew Benintendi. Bradley now has 12 two-out RBI this season. Only Mookie Betts (13) and Benintendi (16) have more.
The win came despite 14 Astros hits, including two each for Springer, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Brian McCann, and Yuli Gurriel. It was the ninth time this season that Houston has had multiple hits from five or more players.
The Sox now head to Kansas City to take on the Royals for three games before the return trip to Fenway.