The Red Sox’s poor defensive effort came back to bite them in Houston, as Boston fell to the Astros 4-3 in Friday’s series opener. Houston took two of three from the Sox at Fenway Park last weekend.
Three Boston errors cost Chris Sale a solid three-hit outing in what would have been a winnable game. Wade Miley threw six solid innings for Houston, giving up just one run with eight strikeouts.
Mookie Betts led the Red Sox with two hits, the only multi-hit performance in the lineup. Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Christian Vazquez each had solo home runs.
The Red Sox fall to 27-24, while the Astros improve to 34-18.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
Boston’s fielding was anything but sharp on Friday.
ON THE BUMP
— The Astros took an aggressive approach vs. Sale, swinging early in counts and putting as much pressure on the Red Sox’s ace as possible. They managed to squeeze home an unearned run against the lefty in the second.
After giving up a base hit to Aledmys Diaz, a wild pitch moved him to second. With two outs, Josh Reddick would reach on a throwing error by Steve Pearce that allowed Diaz to score the game’s first run. Sandy Leon dove at the end of a footrace to try and record the final out, but Diaz’s foot got in just before the tag.
Jake Marisnick would lead off the third with a solo homer to left field to make it 2-0 Houston.
In the fourth, Robinson Chirinos led off with a walk and reached third on a Reddick single. Marisnick grounded to Bogaerts, who then went home to try and throw out Chirinos. The throw went awry, allowing the run to score. Springer followed that up with a sacrifice fly to score Reddick, making it 4-0 Astros.
Sale ultimately gave up four runs (two earned) over six innings of work to go along with five strikeouts.
— Marcus Walden entered in relief of Sale in the seventh with a 1-2-3 inning.
— Heath Hembree came in for the eighth, following up the first out of the inning with back-to-back walks.
After getting the second out of the inning, Hembree would load the bases with his third walk. The right-hander would leave the bases juiced, striking out Marisnick to end the inning.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Bogaerts collected his ninth home run of the year with a solo shot in the sixth.
— Bradley Jr. added a solo bomb of his own in the eighth for his third of the year.
— Christian Vazquez added to the solo homer party with his own two-out dinger in the ninth inning to make it 4-3. The catcher now has seven homers on the season.
— J.D. Martinez was 0-for-3 with a walk in his return to the lineup as the designated hitter.
TWEET OF THE DAY
JBJ got a hold of this one.
Game 2 of Boston’s three-game series in Houston is set for Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images