It wasn’t easy, but the Boston Red Sox pulled off a dramatic win over the Houston Astros on Sunday.
After dropping the first two games of the three-game set at Fenway Park, the Red Sox entered play Sunday looking to avoid being swept for just the second time this season. And thanks to Mitch Moreland’s walk-off single in the ninth inning, Boston emerged with a much-needed 6-5 victory.
The Red Sox, who at one point led 5-1, never trailed in the game.
Rick Porcello got the start for Boston and pitched well at times, but ultimately didn’t factor into the decision. Houston starter Dallas Keuchel, who surrendered five runs in six innings, also got a no-decision.
With the win, the Red Sox improved to 98-46, while the Astros fell to 89-54 with the loss.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The intensity always is turned up a notch on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball,” and that was again the case Sunday night. Add in the outcome, and it felt like a playoff atmosphere at Fenway.
ON THE BUMP
— Porcello pitched OK, but was pulled with two outs in the sixth inning after allowing a solo homer and two singles in the frame. The Red Sox began the inning with a 5-1 lead, and Porcello was in line for the victory before handing things over to the bullpen with a 5-2 advantage.
The right-hander surrendered four runs on seven hits and one walk in 5 2/3 innings. He allowed two homers and struck out six batters.
— Heath Hembree got the ball next and was unable to escape the jam. The right-hander allowed a two-run double to Tyler White before being lifted by manager Alex Cora.
— Lefty Brian Johnson relieved Hembree and promptly surrendered a game-tying double to Josh Reddick.
— Ryan Brasier came on and struck out George Springer to end the inning.
— Steven Wright held the Astros scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings. The knuckleballer allowed two hits and a walk.
— Craig Kimbrel worked a perfect ninth inning and struck out two batters. The right-hander picked up the win and now is 5-1 on the season.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The top of the order once again led the charge for the Red Sox on offense.
— Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts all had multi-hit games, finishing 2-for-4, 2-for-5 and 4-for-4, respectively. Bogaerts also picked up his 93rd RBI of the season.
— J.D. Martinez broke out of his home run slump with this three-run blast in the bottom of the fifth inning:
It was the 40th homer of the year for Martinez, who finished 1-for-5 with four RBIs.
— Eduardo Nunez also had a multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-3 before being pinch-hit for by Blake Swihart in the eighth inning.
— Brandon Phillips, Steve Pearce and Sandy Leon all finished 0-for-3. All three eventually were pinch-hit for, as well.
— Moreland, who pinch-hit for Pearce, finished 2-for-2, including the game-winner in the ninth inning.
TWEET OF THE DAY
You get what you deserve, Mitch.
The Red Sox have Monday off before beginning a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. First pitch at Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images