Springer, Astros down Red Sox for ninth straight winReuters | Updated: 18-05-2019 08:34 IST | Created: 18-05-2019 08:00 IST
George Springer clubbed his American League-leading 17th home run in the eighth inning, and the Houston Astros rallied for a 3-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday in the opener of a three-game set at Fenway Park. Springer socked a first-pitch changeup from Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello 395 feet just to the right of straightaway centre field, scoring Jake Marisnick and erasing a one-run deficit. Porcello entered the eighth having retired seven consecutive batters and with 91 pitches on his ledger, before surrendering his first extra-base hit of the night when Marisnick doubled to left.
The Astros had recorded 34 homers over their previous 12 games before Springer delivered and helped Houston extend its winning streak to nine. Josh Reddick added a sacrifice fly later in the eighth off Red Sox reliever Ryan Brasier, scoring Michael Brantley, who walked, advanced to second base on a passed ball by catcher Christian Vazquez and reached third on a wild pitch.
Porcello (3-4) allowed two runs on six hits and one walk with three strikeouts in seven-plus innings for Boston, which had won 12 of 15 games. Ryan Pressly and Roberto Osuna preserved the lead for the Astros, with Pressly setting a major league record with his 39th consecutive scoreless appearance. Osuna recorded his 11th save by stranding two in the ninth. Will Harris (1-0) earned the win with a scoreless seventh.
Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole laboured over five scoreless frames, scattering six hits and a walk while recording seven strikeouts on 99 pitches. When Cole found trouble, he repeatedly eluded damage. He induced an inning-ending grounder from Eduardo Nunez with two in scoring position in the second inning before working around a leadoff double from Xander Bogaerts in the fourth with strikeouts of Rafael Devers and Michael Chavis. Vazquez grounded out to close that frame. With two on in the fifth, Cole fanned J.D. Martinez and Mitch Moreland to preserve the scoreless tie.
Boston clawed ahead in the sixth against Hector Rondon when Vazquez delivered a two-out single to score Bogaerts, who had capped a 10-pitch at-bat with an infield single, swiped second base, and advanced to third on a wild pitch as Chavis struck out.