MLB Game Recap - Boston at Houston
Sun May 26, 2019 2:10 PM EDT

SD
1
TOR
10
F
DET
3
NYM
4
F
TB
6
CLE
3
F
LAD
11
PIT
7
F
MIA
6
WAS
9
F
CHW
0
MIN
7
F
PHI
1
MIL
9
F
BOS
4
HOU
1
F
NYY
7
KC
8
F(10)
CIN
10
CHC
2
F
BAL
7
COL
8
F
ARI
6
SF
2
F
SEA
1
OAK
7
F
TEX
6
LAA
7
F
ATL
4
STL
3
F(10)

May 26, 2019 2:10 PM

Final

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Boston (28-25)

0

0

1

1

1

0

0

0

1

4

6

0

Houston (35-19)

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

4

2

W: Rodriguez (5-3)

L: Verlander (8-2)

S: Walden (1)

BOS - HR: Devers (7)

HOU - HR: none

Devers homers, Red Sox avoid sweep with 4-1 win over Astros
Sun May 26, 2019 7:04 PM

HOUSTON (AP) Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora was asked after a 4-1 win over the Astros if he uses the two recent series against Houston as a measuring stick for how good his team is.

"No, I don't," Cora said with a grin. "If I say that, then they've got bragging rights."

Rafael Devers homered off Justin Verlander, and the Red Sox capitalized on two Houston errors to avoid a three-game sweep Sunday.

The banged-up Astros lost for just the fifth time in 22 games and finished the regular season 4-2 against the Red Sox, who beat them 4-1 in the ALCS last season on the way to a World Series championship.

"You see the scores," said Cora, the Astros' bench coach for their 2017 title before heading to Boston. "I know it's early and I know where they're at and I know where we're at. We just both match up well. There are no secrets. It's all execution. There were certain days where we didn't execute, and today, they made some errors and we took advantage of that."

Eduardo Rodriguez (5-3) held Houston to one run and four hits in six innings, improving to 5-1 in his last eight starts.

It was exactly the bounce-back outing he was hoping for after allowing six runs over five innings in a loss to Toronto last time out.

"It feels really good," Rodriguez said. "I've been working these past four days on how I'm going to pitch, the game plan and everything, and it worked pretty good."

Devers' solo shot to center field in the fourth gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead. It was Devers' seventh homer of the season and fourth in six games.

Boston extended its lead to 3-1 during a sloppy fifth inning for the AL West leaders. A one-out double by Eduardo Nunez was followed by errors from second baseman Yuli Gurriel and third baseman Alex Bregman on back-to-back plays, allowing Nunez to score.

"We didn't play well, and we missed an opportunity to sweep those guys and really just misfired on a day where (Verlander) pitched well enough to keep us in the game and win," Houston manager AJ Hinch said. "I think we allowed ourselves to play a little mentally tired, a little physically tired. We're beat up a little bit, so it wasn't our day."

Verlander (8-2) permitted three runs and six hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking none. He got his 2,800th career strikeout in the fourth against Michael Chavis and finished his day five strikeouts shy of Cy Young's 2,806 for 21st all-time.

Verlander also threw two wild pitches, both in the third inning, after entering with none in 72 1/3 innings this season.

"Against a lineup like that, you've got to limit baserunners, so when they get a couple guys on with infield hits, that makes it really tough," Verlander said. "I was pleased to be able to keep the damage to a minimum but not happy with the results, obviously. We play this game to win, and we weren't able to do that."

Houston went up 1-0 in the first when Aledmys Diaz scored from second on a single by Carlos Correa that deflected off Devers' glove at third base into shallow left field. Christian Vazquez couldn't handle Nunez's bouncing throw to the plate.

After the play, Diaz left the game with left hamstring discomfort. Gurriel moved to second base and Tyler White entered at first.

Hinch said after the game Diaz is likely headed to the injured list.

The Red Sox tied it in the second on a sacrifice fly from Andrew Benintendi that scored Steve Pearce.

Boston added an insurance run to make it 4-1 in the ninth. A walk to Jackie Bradley Jr. was followed by a balk from Framber Valdez, a passed ball and a groundout from Nunez that scored Bradley.

Marcus Walden pitched a scoreless inning for his second major league save and first this season.

ROSTER REPORT

Boston recalled top pitching prospect Darwinzon Hernandez from Double-A Portland and optioned RHP Colten Brewer to Triple-A Pawtucket. Hernandez, a 22-year-old left-hander, made his major league debut April 23 against Detroit, throwing 2 1/3 innings with one walk, four strikeouts and four hits allowed.

ANOTHER CLOSER

Walden's save made him the fifth Red Sox pitcher to earn one this season. Cora said the diversity in the approach to relief pitching without a traditional closer is a testament to the leverage reliever Matt Barnes gives him in often facing the meat of the opposing lineup regardless of the inning.

"It's all because of Barnes," Cora said. "He can do cool stuff, pitching in the eighth and the ninth and the heart of the order. We've got some guys stepping up to help take care of him."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: LHP David Price (illness) could start Tuesday or Wednesday against Cleveland after lasting just three batters and 15 pitches before leaving Saturday's start against Houston. ... INF Brock Holt (shoulder) went through a full workout and will likely be activated and available on Monday against Cleveland.

Astros: C Max Stassi (left knee soreness) was placed on the 10-day injured list. Garrett Stubbs was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to back up Robinson Chirinos and could make his first major league start Tuesday, Hinch said. ... 2B Jose Altuve (hamstring) was set to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday night.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.45 ERA) will face the Indians when the Red Sox return home to Fenway Park on Monday. Boston is 6-1 in Porcello's last seven starts. RHP Jefry Rodriguez (1-4, 4.08) goes for Cleveland.

Astros: RHP Gerrit Cole (4-5, 4.11) pitches Monday against the Cubs, looking to improve on his 9-3 career record versus Chicago and add to his MLB-leading 100 strikeouts. LHP Cole Hamels (4-0, 3.38) gets the ball for the Cubs.

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More AP baseball coverage: www.apnews.com/MLB and www.twitter.com/AP-Sports

Pitchers of Record

Boston IP H ER BB K ERA WHIP
E. Rodriguez (W, 5-3) 6 4 1 1 5 1.50 0.833
M. Walden (S, 1) 1 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.000
Houston IP H ER BB K ERA WHIP
J. Verlander (L, 8-2) 7 5 2 0 6 2.57 0.714

Batting Leaders

Boston AB H R HR RBI BB TB SB RC
R. Devers 4 2 1 1 1 0 5 1 2.6
E. Núñez 4 2 1 0 1 0 3 0 1.5
Houston AB H R HR RBI BB TB SB RC
A. Díaz 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1.0
C. Correa 3 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0.6

Team Comparison

BOS HOU
At Bats 34 30
Hits 6 4
Batting Average .176 .133
On Base Percentage .216 .212
Slugging Percentage 0.294 0.167
Doubles 1 1
Triples 0 0
Home Runs 1 0
Total Bases 10 5
Walks 2 2
Strikeouts 8 10
Stolen Bases 3 0
Caught Stealing 0 0
Runners Left On Base 6 5
Hits / At Bats with Runners In Scoring Position 1/9 1/7
Double Plays Fielded 0 0
Errors 0 2

2019 Regular Season - HOU Leads Series 4-2

Date Result Winner Loser
Fri May 17 HOU 3 @ BOS 1 W. Harris R. Porcello
Sat May 18 HOU 7 @ BOS 3 J. James H. Velázquez
Sun May 19 HOU 3 @ BOS 4 M. Walden F. Valdez
Fri May 24 BOS 3 @ HOU 4 W. Miley C. Sale
Sat May 25 BOS 3 @ HOU 4 R. Osuna M. Barnes
Sun May 26 BOS 4 @ HOU 1 E. Rodriguez J. Verlander

Game Information

Stadium: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 41,502
Game Time: 3:06
Weather: 70F, Dome or Roof Closed
Wind:
Umpires: Home Plate - ?, First Base - ?, Second Base - ?, Third Base - ?