HOUSTON (AP) — Andrew Benintendi and Christian Vazquez homered during a three-run seventh inning that lifted the Boston Red Sox over the Houston Astros 5-4 on Saturday night.
Former Cy Young Award winners Justin Verlander and David Price each pitched six innings before handing off to the bullpens. Will Harris (1-3) allowed homers to Vazquez and Benintendi in the seventh, setting up Price (6-4) for a victory.
Craig Kimbrel earned his 19th save by striking out two during a scoreless ninth.
Verlander allowed two runs, three hits and two walks while striking out six. He had earned AL Pitcher of the Month in May with an 0.86 ERA in six starts.
J.D. Martinez scored Benintendi following a leadoff walk in the first inning. It was just the second time in 23 starts with Houston, including the playoffs, that Verlander allowed a run in the first inning.
Martinez added another RBI single in the sixth.
The Astros put the lead back in Verlander’s hands in the third inning when Alex Bregman hit a cutter into the Crawford Boxes for his sixth homer. In the previous inning, Marwin Gonzalez tied it with a triple to deep center that scored Yuli Gurriel.
Gurriel had an RBI single that scored Jose Altuve in the eighth to trim Boston’s lead to 5-4.
Price threw a season-high 109 pitches, but grew increasingly efficient in his later innings, retiring the last 11 batters he faced. He allowed five hits and three runs while walking one and striking out seven.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia’s return from the disabled list lasted three games. Left knee inflammation in his recovery from offseason surgery will sideline him on the 10-day DL, retroactive to May 30. After Boston put OF Mookie Betts on the 10-day DL with an abdominal strain Friday, the team recalled 1B Sam Travis and LHP Bobby Poyner from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Astros: Gonzalez left the game with right knee soreness after making a leaping catch at the wall in the third inning. … OF Josh Reddick, who is on the 10-day DL with an infection in his left knee, will join Double-A Tulsa on Sunday for a rehab assignment and will be reevaluated possibly to be called up for the next series. …. OF Derek Fisher (gastrointestinal discomfort) was activated off the 10-day DL and optioned to Triple-A Fresno. … C Brian McCann, who was put on the 10-day DL on May 29 with right knee soreness, took batting practice and did fielding activities early Saturday.
Red Sox: Rick Porcello (7-2, 3.65 ERA) will face the Astros for the first time since allowing five hits, two runs and three walks in three innings of Game 4 of the 2017 ALDS. In his most recent outing, Porcello earned a win against Toronto, allowing five hits and three runs in 6 2/3 innings.
Astros: Charlie Morton (7-0, 2.04 ERA) will try to stay undefeated both on the season and in his career against Boston. Morton is 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA in two career starts against the Red Sox and hasn’t lost in 14 straight starts, dating to a Sept. 9 loss in Oakland last season.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)