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'Overaggressive' Betts gets caught for key out

BOSTON -- Mookie Betts tried to make a play for the Red Sox on Friday night, but it didn't take long for him to realize it was the wrong one.

With one out in the bottom of the eighth in an eventual 12-8 loss to the Astros, Betts took off from second and tried to steal third. He was tagged out, which only became more painful moments later when David Ortiz delivered a game-tying double to left.

If Betts had stayed put, the Red Sox could have handed the ball to closer Koji Uehara with a lead in the top of the ninth.

"Overaggressive," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Ill-advised. We sacrificed him to get into scoring position because Pat Neshek is under 1.15 seconds in his unloading times. Overaggressive decision on his part to attempt the steal."

Why did Betts go for the steal, despite the fact that the red-hot Xander Bogaerts was at the plate, followed by Ortiz?

"I thought I saw something, but evidently I didn't," said Betts. "I had a sign, it was a tough at-bat for a righty, I was trying to force something and I shouldn't have. I was trying to put points together pretty much and didn't have the right points."

Naturally, Betts wishes he could have a do-over.

"In hindsight, you can always make the right decision," Betts said. "If I'm safe, it's a great play. Since I'm out, it's terrible, so you just have to live and learn from it. Obviously, I know I messed up."

Betts is 13-for-17 in stolen-base attempts this season.

Ian Browne is a reporter for
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