The Houston Astros have the best record in Major League Baseball, but the Boston Red Sox have Mookie Betts. And Betts was the difference Friday night in Game 1 of the three-game series at Minute Maid Park.
Betts’ solo home run in the top of the eighth inning lifted the Red Sox to a 2-1 win over the Astros, and the right fielder also scored the Sox’s other run and saved one with his arm.
Drew Pomeranz, meanwhile, had a strong outing on the mound against the best team in baseball.
With the win, Boston improves to 38-29, while Houston falls to 45-23.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
What else could it be? The Red Sox right fielder had quite the game at the plate and in the field.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Closer Craig Kimbrel recorded his 19th save of the season.
ON THE BUMP
— Pomeranz allowed a single to Jose Altuve in the bottom of the first, but a Carlos Correa double play ended the inning. As a result, the left-hander faced the minimum through the first three innings, and he looked pretty dominant doing so.
He allowed two runners in the fourth inning, but neither got past first base thanks to a double play and strikeout. He then followed that up with a 1-2-3 fifth.
The left-hander ran into a bit of trouble in the sixth inning when he lost a bit of the command, which resulted in back-to-back walks. And it appeared as though the Astros would have the bases loaded after Correa singled to shallow right field, but Houston third base coach Gary Pettis tested Mookie Betts’ arm. Betts’ throw home beat George Springer by quite some distance, resulting in an easy third out.
The Astros got to Pomeranz in the seventh inning, though, when Brian McCann hit a one-out solo home run. That proved to be the end of the night for Pomeranz, who allowed the one earned run on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
— Joe Kelly came on and allowed a double and an intentional walk, but he eventually got out of trouble and kept the game knotted at 1-1.
— Matt Barnes also had some issues in the eighth thanks to an Altuve double and Correa walk. Altuve then stole third base, which was made easier by Christian Vazquez’s throw going off Evan Gattis’ bat. However, Gattis grounded into an inning-ending double play.
— Kimbrel pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Sox got on the board in the top of the third inning. Betts and Dustin Pedroia both reached base on a walk and single, respectively, with one out, and Betts came around to score from third on a Mitch Moreland RBI single.
— Betts gave the Red Sox back the lead when he belted a solo shot to left field to lead off the top of the eighth inning. The dinger gave Boston a 2-1 advantage.
— Pedroia (2), Betts, Moreland, Jackie Bradley Jr., Josh Rutledge and Chris Young all recorded hits.
— Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and Vazquez all went hitless.
TWEET OF THE DAY
This video will make you tear up and smile at the same time.
The Red Sox will continue their weekend series with the Astros on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park. Right-hander Rick Porcello is scheduled to get the start for Boston opposite David Paulino. First pitch is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports Images