Rick Porcello and Brock Holt paved the way for the Boston Red Sox’s 41st win of the season.
The Red Sox right-handed pitcher fanned five batters over 6 1/3 innings in Sunday night’s 9-3 win over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Holt was hot at the plate, accounting for four of the Red Sox’s nine runs, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. For the second straight night, Andrew Benintendi homered while Mitch Moreland put Boston up early with a two-run shot in the first inning.
With the win, the Red Sox climb to 41-19, while the Astros slip to 37-24.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The offense and defense were clicking on all cylinders Sunday, with seven of the starting nine getting at least one hit, while the pitching accounted for eight strikeouts, including getting Jose Altuve three times on the night.
ON THE BUMP
— After Boston jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, the Astros answered back by cutting its deficit in half after George Springer homered to left off Porcello in the first inning.
The Astros threatened to do damage in the third with two runners on and no outs, but Porcello got out of the jam by getting three consecutive strikeouts in Alex Bregman, Altuve and Carlos Correa.
The Red Sox righty got himself into trouble in the seventh after Houston loaded the bases without giving up a hit thanks to an error, a walk and a hit batsman. Bregman singled to left to bring the Astros within three and chased the Sox starter from the game.
— Matt Barnes came in for the seventh and got the final two outs with runners on first and second before pitching a scoreless eighth.
— Heath Hembree pitched the ninth, getting the final three outs and sealing the victory for Boston.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— It didn’t take long for the Red Sox to get on the board after Benintendi doubled to lead off the game and Moreland obliterated a two-run bomb to center to take a 2-0 lead.
— Benintendi put Boston back up by two in the fifth when he torched a breaking ball to right field for his ninth home run of the season.
— Boston put together a three-sixth when it put runners on first and second with a single and hit batsman before Brock Holt cleared the bases with a triple. Blake Swihart drove in the sixth run for the Sox with an RBI single before the inning came to a close when Benintendi was caught trying to stealing second.
— Holt continued his hot night with an RBI single in the eighth that drove in the seventh run for Boston.
— Sam Travis, who pinch-hit for J.D. Martinez in the ninth, made his at-bat count as he roped a single to center to drive in runs eight and nine for Boston.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. and Martinez both went hitless on the night.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Boston will get Monday night off before opening a three-game set with the Detroit Tigers. Knuckleballer Steven Wright will take the hill for the Sox and be opposed by Artie Lewicki. First pitch from Fenway Park is slated for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images