Astros get to Sale, but win streak ends at 10
BOSTON -- The Astros couldn’t corral a pair of costly popups that dropped for hits, couldn’t take advantage of a career-high-tying five walks by Red Sox ace Chris Sale and even had manager AJ Hinch questioning one of his in-game decisions.
That’s how the Astros’ second 10-game winning streak of the season came to an end Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park in a 4-3 loss that was overshadowed by leadoff hitter and AL Most Valuable Player candidate George Springer leaving the game with a stiff lower back.
The Red Sox staved off a three-game sweep when Xander Bogaerts scored Mookie Betts from first base for the go-ahead run on a double off reliever Framber Valdez in the seventh inning in a matchup that Hinch later said probably shouldn't have happened.
“They outhit us and I think I made a bad decision letting Bogaerts face a lefty,” Hinch said. “So that’s pretty much it.”
A 448-foot home run by shortstop Carlos Correa in the third gave the Astros a 3-1 lead against Sale, who was coming off a 17-strikeout performance. Boston tied the game in the fifth on a homer by Michael Chavis off Wade Miley and an RBI single by Bogaerts on a popup that dropped between three defenders in the outfield.
“We didn’t play a clean game,” Hinch said. “Some of it was the elements and some of it was just the way baseball goes sometimes. It won’t take away from a really good road trip, a really good group of games and now we get to go home and play in front of our fans.”
In the seventh, another popup -- this one off the bat of Betts -- wasn’t caught, though the Astros were able to get lead runner Chavis at second base. Still, the speedy Betts was a better option on the bases, and he scored from first on Bogaerts’ double off the wall in left-center field.
“The extra-base hit in this ballpark is weird,” Hinch said. “The left side of the field, it’s hard to score from first. Bogaerts hits it to center field. I questioned [the decision to let Valdez face Bogaerts] on the front end so I’m going to question it on the back end.”