George Springer belted his team-leading 12th home run, one of three home runs for the host Houston Astros in their 7-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday at Minute Maid Park.
Springer, who went 3-for-4 on the night, added a walk and a single against Red Sox ace left-hander Chris Sale, but it was his leadoff home run in the third inning that staked the Astros to a two-run lead.
Springer blasted a 2-2 fastball to center field to ignite the Astros’ second two-run inning, with first baseman Yuli Gurriel adding an RBI single, his second of the game, later in the frame that scored Carlos Correa from second base. Correa had moved into scoring position on the second of two wild pitches from Sale (5-3), with both paying dividends for the Astros.
With Springer and Alex Bregman on after starting the game with a walk and single, respectively, Sale uncorked a wild pitch while fanning Correa. Springer scored from second base on the play, with Bregman taking third. When Gurriel followed with an infield hit, Houston took a 2-0 lead.
Boston nearly erased the 4-1 deficit in the top of the fourth when Mitch Moreland and J.D. Martinez recorded back-to-back home runs off Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole (6-1). Moreland crushed a 96 mph fastball to straightaway center field, a titanic 434-foot blast that caromed off the batter’s eye. Martinez followed with his league-leading 19th dinger, lining a 99 mph fastball from Cole 349 feet the opposite way to right.
Cole responded with three consecutive outs to end that threat and, after encountering trouble again in the fifth when two runners reached with one out, he found a groove that carried him through the end of his outing. Cole retired the final eight batters he faced and completed seven innings having allowed three runs on five hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.
With one out in the eighth, Correa added an insurance run in the form of his 10th homer this season, a blast to left field off Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly. Evan Gattis followed two batters later with a two-run homer, his eighth, driving in Gurriel after he reached via a walk.
Sale surrendered four runs on six hits and one walk with six strikeouts over six innings.
—Field Level Media