Red Sox beat Astros 12-8, avoid sweep as Martinez homers

Houston Astros' Kyle Tucker follows through on a three-run double against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Houston Astros' Kyle Tucker follows through on a three-run double against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

(AP) – J.D. Martinez hit his 13th homer, Christian Arroyo had a three-run drive and the Boston Red Sox took advantage of a pair of dropped balls in a five-run sixth inning to beat the Houston Astros 12-8 Thursday night, avoiding a three-game sweep.

Right fielder Kyle Tucker dropped Martinez's sacrifice fly that tied the score at 8 for an error as the batter reached, and shortstop Carlos Correa let Rafael Devers' bases-loaded pop to short center to glance off his glove but got the out because an infield fly was called.

“It was a tremendous change of emotions about eight times. We‘re cheering one moment and kind of lamenting the next moment,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “That was a weird ballgame. The whole game was very strange and it’s hard to explain. ”

Yuli Gurriel and José Altuve homered for the Astros, Altuve providing an 8-7 advantage leading off the sixth on a pitch from Darwinzon Hernandez that was 0.85 feet above the ground. According to MLB Statcast, it was the lowest pitch hit for a home run in the major leagues since the start of 2018.

“To manage these games is not fun, but I understand how people like it,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said the odd plays

Baker did not make it to the end of the 3-hour, 47-minute game. He was ejected in the seventh for arguing after the Red Sox turned a double play on a ball that Yuli Gurriel hit into the dirt and maintained was a foul ball.

Darwinzon Hernandez (1-2) won after allowing Altuve’s homer.

Kiké Hernández doubled off Blake Taylor (0-1) leading off the bottom half and scored on Martinez's fly to deep right, where Tucker said the wind played with the ball as it descended.