Betts, Wright lead Red Sox to 6-2 win over the Astros
HOUSTON (AP) Consistency finally paid off for Steven Wright with his first win of the season.
Wright pitched into the seventh inning, and Mookie Betts finished a home run shy of the cycle as the Boston Red Sox beat the Houston Astros 6-2 on Friday night.
Wright (1-2) had his third straight good start to begin the season, allowing one run - none earned - and four hits with six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. He did walk five, with Carlos Gomez scoring on a passed ball in the seventh.
''He's been the most consistent starter without question,'' Red Sox manager John Farrell said. ''Just go out and pitch, and he does a great job of that whether it's in either role (starter or bullpen). To pitch the innings he's doing, he's been the stabilizer in our rotation.''
The knuckleballer has gone at least six innings in each of his starts and has allowed two runs or less in each of his starts this season.
''I was just trying to stay under control,'' Wright said. ''Later in the game, I think I was rushing a little bit, but the ball was moving well. I was just trying to keep the ball in the strike zone, and the key is just getting them to swing.''
Craig Kimbrel got Carlos Correa to end the game for his fifth save.
Betts tripled in the first and ninth innings, scoring both times. He had an RBI double in the second and singled and scored in the fourth. He flied out in the sixth.
''I just come out swinging and try to make him uncomfortable at least,'' Betts said of his approach. ''We were able to put some good swings on some pitches and make him uncomfortable through those innings.''
Dustin Pedroia, who had two hits, drove in Betts in the first and came around to score on Hanley Ramirez's sacrifice fly. Xander Bogaerts also had two hits, including an RBI double in the fourth.
Brock Holt had an RBI single in the third to up Boston's lead to 4-0.
Bogaerts was hit by a pitch on what looked like his right forearm in ninth inning by Luke Gregerson. Bogaerts was on the ground for a minute and was attended to by the trainer before leaving under his own power.
Farrell said the shortstop was having precautionary X-rays taken, but he was able to move his wrist when he came off the field.
Collin McHugh (1-3) struggled for the second time in four starts and was tagged for four runs or more for the third time this season. McHugh allowed five runs and 10 hits with three strikeouts in four innings.
''They were getting bats on me early,'' McHugh said. ''I wasn't good today though. From the get go, my command wasn't very good.''
Other than McHugh's second start of the season when he threw seven scoreless innings, the right-hander has given up 15 runs in 9 2/3 innings over the other three outings.
George Springer had an RBI single in the ninth for Houston, which lost its fourth straight and fifth in six games. At 5-12, Houston is tied with Minnesota for the worst record in the AL.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (dislocated right kneecap) and RHP Carson Smith (right elbow strain) are scheduled to throw in a simulated game Saturday in Florida, Farrell said.
Astros: RHP Lance McCullers, who is on the 15-day DL with right shoulder soreness, threw a bullpen session Friday and looked good, manager A.J. Hinch said.
Red Sox: RHP Clay Buchholz (0-1), who starts the second game of the three-game series Saturday, will look to build on his last start where he threw 6 2/3 shutout innings.
Astros: RHP Mike Fiers (1-1) starts Saturday after earning a win in his last start Sunday. Fiers has allowed 12 runs in 16 2/3 innings this season.
CURRY VISITS CORREA
Golden State guard and NBA MVP Stephen Curry visited with Carlos Correa and other Astros in Houston's clubhouse before the game and watched the game from behind home plate. During spring training, Correa visited Curry when the Warriors played in Orlando.
BIG PAPI GETS A COWBOY HAT
Before Friday's game, Astros team president Reid Ryan presented David Ortiz with a black Stetson cowboy hat. Ortiz, who will retire after the season, entered Friday's game a career .350 hitter against the Astros with six home runs and 34 RBIs. Ortiz went 0 for 4 with a walk.