On a night of trades, the Red Sox kept the focus on the field and started Aug. on a strong note.
Boston defeated the Houston Astros, 3-2, on Monday night at Minute Maid Park behind the bat of Jarren Duran. The centerfielder had a double and a home run off Astros starter Luis Garcia. The homer was the second of the year for Duran, and it went 379 feet.
Before the game, the Red Sox made a trio of trades ahead of Tuesday’s Major League Baseball trade deadline. Boston traded catcher Christian Vázquez to the Astros, and it traded reliever Jake Diekman to the Chicago White Sox for catcher Reese McGuire. The Red Sox also made a trade for Cincinnati Reds outfielder Tommy Pham.
Duran commented on when he first heard about the Vázquez trade.
“I actually didn’t see that until I got back into the clubhouse, and he (Vázquez) gave me a high five,” Duran said on “SportsCenter,” as seen on ESPN. “We had some conversation between each other, and I wish him the best of luck. He’s going to the other side now, but you always gotta wish your friends good luck.”
The win Monday puts the Red Sox three games behind the final American League Wild Card spot, with the Cleveland Guardians and Baltimore Orioles ahead of Boston. Duran was asked what makes the Red Sox sure they can contend for a playoff spot.
“Because of what I seen in the clubhouse,” Duran said. “Everybody else, the outside noise, we don’t care, doubt us. That’s all we need to know is that you guys are doubting us. Everybody’s doubting us, and then when it happens, don’t be cheering for us when you’ve been doubting us the whole time.”
Here are more notes from Monday’s Red Sox-Astros:
— Manager Alex Cora spoke on the Vázquez trade during the ESPN broadcast, and he also commented on it after the game. According to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, Cora highlighted the 2018 championship run, and he spoke to Vázquez before the game and allowed him to take batting practice with the Red Sox for one last time.
— Nathan Eovaldi went 6 1/3 innings, striking out six and only giving up two earned runs. This was the first game the right-hander went more than six innings since May 28 against the Orioles, where he pitched a compete game.
— Bobby Dalbec and Duran were the only Boston batters to double on the night. The Red Sox continue to lead the league in doubles with 235. Notably, Dalbec’s double ball was close to the yellow line of left-center field at Minute Maid Park, which would have made it a homer if it had touched. Instead, it was a 403-foot double for the first baseman.
— Tanner Houck earned his seventh save of the season. The right-hander struck out one batter in one inning of action.
— The Red Sox will hope for three straight wins as they take on the Astros on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game on NESN 360 following an hour of pregame coverage.