Red Sox Notes: Mookie Betts Comes Up Big On Offense, Defense For Boston

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Have a game, Mookie Betts.

The Boston Red Sox right fielder did it all Friday night in Houston, as he scored two runs and saved one with his arm, too, in the Sox’s 2-1 win over the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Betts scored Boston’s first run on Mitch Moreland’s RBI single in the third inning, and he trotted home his second time thanks to a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning. The score was knotted at 1-1 at the time, thanks in large part to Betts, who threw out George Springer trying to score from second on a laser of a throw to end the sixth inning.

“He cuts down a run to finish the sixth, and then on the first pitch in the eighth he gives us the lead,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said, as aired on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “Just in a small snapshot, there’s Mookie’s skill set on both sides of the ball. He’s a dynamic player, and those throws aren’t just by coincidence. The work he puts in, he throws a strike from right field at a key point in a game right there.”

Here’s a look at a few more notes from Red Sox vs. Astros.

— Pablo Sandoval wasn’t in the Red Sox’s starting lineup Friday night, and the playing surface at Minute Maid Park was part of the reason why, according to Farrell.

“With Rut (Josh Rutledge) at third base, keeping everybody involved,” Farrell told reporters before the game, via MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith. “This is an extremely quick infield surface, a lineup that strikes out the fewest in all of baseball. So there’s going to be a high number of balls put in play that we anticipate. So just keeping everybody involved.

“… We’ve got a guy with with reverse splits tonight in (Mike) Fiers. So I want to be clear that just the playing surface isn’t the reason that Rut’s in the game. There’s a number of things you factor in. Panda’s worked his way back to us. He hasn’t played a high number of consecutive games at third base.”

— Hanley Ramirez also wasn’t in the Red Sox’s starting lineup, and it turns out the reason is injury-related.

“He was unavailable last night after feeling a little bit of a pinching sensation in his neck,” Farrell said, via Smith. “He went through some treatment all during the game last night. Has gone through some today as he’s arrived at the park. We’re hopeful that he’ll be able to be available late in this ballgame here tonight. So that’s got CY at the DH slot.”

— The WEEI radio booth had someone different in it Friday night. Former Red Sox (and Astros) flamethrower Roger Clemens joined Tim Neverett.

— Carson Smith hasn’t pitched since last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery but he was supposed to begin a rehab assignment Sunday. However, a setback has resulted in a new timeline for the reliever.

“He was examined, went through a full battery of tests,” Farrell said, per MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith. “And with guys coming back from Tommy John, the long layoff, then the revamping up with the volume, he needs a little bit of a breather right now.

“So there’s going to be a four- or five-day period here where he’s going to go through no throwing,” Farrell added. “We were fully expecting and anticipating Sunday as the start of his rehab, but that’s on hold right now.”

Thumbnail photo via Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports Images

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